Over the last 50 years, software has become the most productive tool introduced into the economy.
Over the last 50 years, software has become the most productive tool introduced into the economy. It has become an essential input for virtually all business operations, across industries and sectors. It has contributed to about 15 percent of all productivity gains of U.S. workers in the last few decades; making it an important driving force for economic growth. Every company, irrespective of industry, must now innovate by being a “software” business.
While software has transformed and improved the ways businesses run, almost everyone has experienced its pitfalls first-hand – selection, implementation and maintenance continue to be frustrating parts of the process. At the root of the problem is the lose-lose choice companies face in the initial selection of a software solution: either build a tailor-made software solution or buy a pre-packaged one. The build option is slow and expensive. Companies spent an estimated $170 billion on custom development in 2017 alone, not including the ongoing maintenance that follows. The pre-packaged option, while meeting some elements of a company’s requirements, often only solves part of the problem and its static nature does not evolve with the needs of the business.
Having built companies and invested in software for more than 20 years, Aldrich Capital Partners is deeply familiar with its benefits and challenges. We’ve taken note of alternatives and closely followed the emergence of a third option: no-code software development platforms. These platforms deliver on the best of both options via their special toolkits: the ability to develop dynamic, tailor-made applications that can be quickly and cheaply deployed.
BACKING THE FUTURE OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
As no-code platforms look to address many of the past challenges associated with software, we are excited that Decisions, LLC, a leading no-code software provider, is the latest addition to the Aldrich Capital portfolio. As an industry leader, the company is trusted by some of the most well-known and respected Fortune 500 companies including Pfizer, American Express, LEGO, Rite Aid, Philips, and Lockheed Martin.
Over the past nine years, Decisions’ co-founders, Carl Hewitt and Heath Oderman, and their team have built a unique product to automate business workflows and execute operational decisions. Now, the company is focused on bringing the benefits of its no-code development toolkit to a broader business audience. Aldrich shares the founders’ vision and will support Decisions’ scaling efforts in several ways in the coming years. This separates Aldrich Capital from other growth equity firms. As Hewitt explains: “After bootstrapping Decisions for a number of years, we evaluated a large number of potential partners. We selected Aldrich because we wanted to partner directly with a team that has demonstrated the ability to scale software businesses which they have done in both companies the Aldrich partners personally founded and ones they have invested in.”
1000 PATHS TO CHOOSE FROM – GROWING EFFICIENTLY
Decisions’ solution can be applied in any sector, ranging from healthcare to construction to insurance and financial services. While this presents a massive market opportunity of over $8 billion, it begs the question of where to focus limited company resources. This required the company to build a team that could focus its attention on tackling this problem. Aldrich actively tapped into its network and provided both candidates advice on hiring decisions to support the company as it builds out a best-in-class team.
Part of these discussions involve a crucial understanding of how to construct a large, highly productive sales organization. Aldrich leveraged knowledge, expertise and its network of advisors to provide insight on creating organizational structure, setting compensation and structuring sales workflow to best position the company for growth. Our experience in scaling our own companies and what we have learned as investors has helped Decisions cut through the common challenges founders face, saving them time, capital, and headaches.
ALDRICH’S COMMITMENT TO ENTREPRENEURS BUILDING IN THEIR COMMUNITY
Aldrich is also excited to continue investing in our home state of Virginia, following partnerships with Paymerang (largest FinTech funding in VA history) and PhishMe (acquired by a private equity firm). The Decisions investment continues to validate the firm’s thesis of investing in innovative technology businesses outside of the handful of traditional tech hubs that receive more than 75 percent of all venture funding in the U.S. yearly. Companies outside of these hubs face unique problems including the lack of a deep pool of local talent or local access to venture financing. Aldrich knows that building a business is difficult in itself, but doing so in these types of environments make it much more challenging for an entrepreneur to truly unlock a company’s potential.