News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Prezi raises US$57M investment to accelerate global growth plans; surpasses 50M users worldwide

Presentation software startup Prezi has today announced that it has raised an additional US$57 million in investment from Spectrum Equity and Accel Partners, taking total capital raised so far for the startup to $71.3 million. The latest round of funding is a major step forward for Prezi and will help accelerate the company’s global growth plans.

For those who are unfamiliar with Prezi’s technology, it’s what many uni students use in attempt to outshine their fellow Microsoft PowerPoint users. It’s also popular amongst teachers, entrepreneurs and other groups that are accustomed to delivering presentations.

What differentiates Prezi from other software products in the same realm is that it uses a single canvas instead of multiple slides as you’d see on Microsoft PowerPoint. Whether users are delivering a sales pitch to a high-value client or a TED Talk to a crowd of progressive thinkers, Prezi’s zoom-able canvas allows them to demonstrate relationships between the bigger picture and finer details. This means that ideas are placed within a broader context. Because Prezi is cloud-based, it also enables users to easily collaborate, edit and share presentations.

The startup was founded in 2009 at the TNW Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, by Peter Arvai (CEO), Péter Halácsy (CTO) and Adam Somlai-Fischer (Head of Design). It now has offices in San Francisco and Budapest, and has been adopted in more than 190 countries around the world.

In August this year, Prezi decided to turns its attention towards the ANZ market – given the growth figures in the region – by appointing two Prezi experts Kris Flegg and Emma Bannister as Australian ambassadors. Australia was found to be one of Prezi’s top 10 markets globally and that there are more than 1 million users in Australia and New Zealand. Australian corporate customers currently using Prezi include Telstra, Zurich, MLC, and Rio Tinto among others. Much of the users in the ANZ region was said to have been acquired organically through word-of-mouth recommendations.

The latest capital injection will allow Prezi to embark on a more aggressive marketing mission and accelerate its growth in international markets. Both Spectrum Equity and Accel Partners have impressive portfolios, with the former counting big names such as Ancestry.com, SurveyMonkey and Lynda.com as part of its portfolio, while the latter has helped global brands like Dropbox, Etsy and Facebook.

In a media release, Victor Parker, Managing Director at Spectrum Equity said that the firm had been following the growth of Prezi for a few years and believe it is becoming a market leader. He notes that executives in companies like Salesforce, Lufthansa, and IBM have switched from conventional slides to Prezi’s canvas.

“We believe Prezi’s product platform, coupled with the power of its growing user base and content library, make this a particularly compelling opportunity,” Parker said.

“Prezi is exactly the kind of company we want to invest in: it has an innovative and disruptive product, strong international brand driving organic traffic at scale, a growing user-generated content library and a compelling business model.”

In the same media release, Robert Duffner praised Prezi, saying that customer satisfaction has increased nearly 30 percent since switching to Prezi 18 months ago.

“It’s exciting to see such a significant jump in the perceived quality and delivery of content; we know Prezi is making a measurable difference in our meetings.”

Prezi also announced today that it has surpassed 50 million users, nearly doubling in the past 12 months; and over 160 million presentations have been created on the platform worldwide. In August this year, those numbers were 45 million and 120 million. 





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