OutSystems has closed a $150m funding round, putting the Portuguese software building platform among the most valuable privately held tech companies to come out of Europe, at $9.5bn. The round was co-led by Abdiel Capital and Tiger Global and the funding will be used to expand investments into the company’s R&D and go-to-market strategy.
OutSystems is one of those tech companies where you might have experienced the results of its product without realising it. The platform allows organisations of all sizes to build apps and software solutions at lower cost. Fintechs like Lendr and Monimove have made use of the technology to streamline their development processes (Lendr built five apps in under a year using OutSystems, with just two developers).
The technology is equally popular among large corporates, particularly those that are looking to digitise legacy systems, such as Mazda and Banco Santander who have both adopted OutSystems as their digital transformation platform.
“The complexities of traditional software development exacerbate the challenges most organisations face when tackling their digital transformation agenda,” said Paulo Rosado, chief executive and founder of OutSystems. “By fundamentally changing the way software is built, OutSystems makes it possible for every organisation to compete, innovate and grow with the developers they already have.”
OutSystems is one of the most prolific success stories to come out of Portugal’s tech sector, sharing the unicorn paddock with TalkDesk and Farfetch.
But while these companies have demonstrated the huge potential in Portuguese founders, all of them have their headquarters outside the country (OutSystems is run from Boston).
In a Sifted op-ed last year, claiming that the Portuguese state is failing startups, founders Paulo Ferreira Dos Santos and Vitor Soares said this is evidence of structural problems inside the country.
“The acclaimed cases of ‘international success’, like Farfetch, Talkdesk, OutSystems,” they argue, “have started or have needed to move their headquarters abroad to access to more capital or better rules.”
But while these companies’ top leadership teams might have fled the nest, OutSystems is still playing its role in driving top talent to Portugal. The company has a thriving hub in the quiet rural village of Proença-a-nova, as well as offices in Lisbon and Braga, with plans to bring its workforce in the country to more than 1,200.
So as OutSystems plans the next stage of its global growth, watchers in the Portuguese tech ecosystem will hope that the company’s success can have knock-on effects for the country, as this fledgling startup hub continues to find its feet.