Tasktop Case Study
Sumeru and Tasktop Scale Business to strategic exit in 15 months
“Tasktop is a case of the perfect partner and perfect timing. We helped scale the team and their new product, which led to a strategic acquisition. We also worked hard to negotiate an outcome for the founders and management team that was both professionally and financially rewarding.”
– Jason Babcoke, Managing Director, Sumeru Equity Partners
Founder and Company Background
Companies often need help visualizing, understanding, integrating, and optimizing their software supply chain and development processes. They have hundreds, if not thousands of software developers to manage and keep productive across multiple sites and geographies. Tasktop, based in Vancouver, Canada, addressed this massive problem by developing the Value Stream Management (VSM) business concept and accompanying software platform. Their SaaS products help some of the world’s largest organizations manage and accelerate how they build software.
In 2020, Tasktop released a new product, Tasktop Viz, based on their VSM methodology. The new product can be used by business leaders without technical or Agile experience for prioritization, project management, and outcome measurement — further expanding the reach of these products’ benefits.
When Tasktop Viz was first released, Tasktop was an established company with a related baseline business. However, Viz was a new type of offering, requiring a new approach to Sales, Marketing and Customer Success. This presented a unique partnership opportunity between Tasktop and Sumeru to help scale Viz and supporting operations.
Value Creation and Revenue Growth
Tasktop and Sumeru wasted no time implementing an aggressive growth strategy. As a founder-friendly investor, the communication and teamwork between Sumeru and Tasktop was fundamental to the success, especially when ramping up the new Tasktop Viz product.
Together, we hired a new CMO, CPO, and VP of Engineering, expanded go-to-market, built new customer success capabilities and implemented clear and focused marketing efforts.
A particularly important effort was onboarding new customers. Viz contained a wide array of features, some of which are complex and called for a high level of customer engagement. Working together with management, we built a high-intensity onboarding team, designed an adoption program and tracked onboarding customer by customer, all with an eye to creating highly referenceable lighthouse customers and market momentum.
Teamwork drove success with Viz growing rapidly from launch in 2020 to $9M by mid 2022.
“We worked with Tasktop management as one team, to address their scaling and management needs. Together, we focused on enabling the success of the Viz product by implementing new processes for customer acquisition and success.”
– George Kadifa
Facilitating a Win–Win Sale
Less than two years after Sumeru acquired Tasktop, we received inbound interest from Planview, a larger strategic acquirer. They viewed Tasktop as key to their technology roadmap and we viewed Planview as an enabler of large scale and continued growth. However, structuring a deal was complex given the recency of Tasktop’s fundraise and upside potential. Similar to our operational partnership, here, our objective was to create a deal structure that enabled everyone to win.
Over the next six months, we worked together, creating a unique combination of up-front proceeds and continued investment, enabling all parties to realize an attractive return at close and upside through combined success. Operationally, the integration plans were also detailed, adding certainty to post close performance.
The result? A significant increase in value in 15 months with downside protection and retained upside! A true win-win.
“We are most proud of the Tasktop case for successfully ramping the new product offering, as well as negotiating an acquisition that was good for the company, the management team, and for us as investors.”