Zil­liant gets $13 mil­lion in­fu­sion

Soft­ware com­pany helps man­u­fac­tur­ing, trans­porta­tion busi­nesses de­ter­mine op­ti­mal pric­ing for con­tracts, deals

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS & PERSONAL FINANCE - By Lori Hawkins

Austin-based Zil­liant Inc., which sells soft­ware that helps com­pa­nies price their prod­ucts, has raised $13 mil­lion in ven- ture cap­i­tal for ex­pan­sion, com­pany of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing, dis­tri­bu­tion and trans­porta­tion com­pa­nies use Zil­liant’s soft­ware to de­ter­mine the best pric­ing on deals, con­tracts and price lists. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Peters said the fund­ing will help Zil­liant ex­pand its soft­ware of­fer­ings.

“We’ve got some pretty so­phis­ti­cated sci­ence that we ap­ply to pric­ing. There are some new ar­eas of in­no­va­tion we have dab­bled in and tested, and we want to ex­pand that,” he said.

Zil­liant raised the money from SMH Pri­vate Eq­uity Group, ABS Ven­tures, Austin Ven­tures and Trel­lis Part­ners, all of which had pre­vi­ously in­vested in the com­pany.

Zil­liant, which has 130 em­ploy­ees, has raised about $60 mil­lion since its in­cep­tion in 1999.

Peters said the lat­est fund­ing also of­fers as­sur­ance to Zil­liant cus­tomers, who make sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments in the soft­ware.

Some of those cus­tomers in­clude Siemens In­dus­try Inc., Hubbell Light­ing and Unisource World­wide.

“When com­pa­nies en­gage with us, it’s a long-term re­la­tion­ship. Putting cash on the bal­ance sheet helps show long-term vi­a­bil­ity and takes all those ques­tions off the ta­ble,” Peters said. “It’s good to have that, from a sta­bil­ity stand­point.”

Zil­liant’s soft­ware an­a­lyzes an ar­ray of vari­ables, such as com­peti­tors’ prices, sales his­tory and buy­ing fre­quency, and rec­om­mends rais­ing or low­er­ing prices.

Al­though the changes are small, gen­er­ally in the range of 1 to 3 per­cent, they can im­prove prof­its by more than $10 mil­lion a year, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

“We con­tinue to see a high­growth op­por­tu­nity in the B2B (busi­ness-to-busi­ness) pric­ing mar­ket, and Zil­liant is poised to lead with a unique technology, a strong cus­tomer base and a proven man­age­ment team,” said Chip Davis, man­ag­ing part­ner at SMH Pri­vate Eq­uity Group. “Zil­liant is a true pi­o­neer who will con­tinue to lead the mar­ket as B2B com­pa­nies look to­ward re­cov­ery.”

Greg Peters

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