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AvePoint CEO Jiang: IPO Brings Scale, Accelerates Mission To Becoming ‘100 Percent Channel’

‘We only have only 7 million cloud users. … Going from 7 million to what we want to get to, which is 50 million cloud users, will allow us to get to over $1 billion recurring revenue annually. So that’s what we’re very, very excited about, and that’s what becoming a public company allows us to do, to move faster,’ AvePoint CEO Tianyi ’TJ’ Jiang tells CRN.

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AvePoint Takes Advantage Of SPAC For Its IPO

AvePoint, which bills itself as the largest provider of data management technology for the Microsoft 365 market, on July 2 completed its IPO via a merger with Burlingame, Calif.-based Apex, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Its IPO opened the day at $12.05 per share and closed at $11.95 per share, down from Apex’s mid-January high of $16.95. This was the first data protection and data management technology developer to go public in some time.

AvePoint is unusual in that it went public as a profitable company. Founded in 2001 as a provider of backup technology for Microsoft Exchange, the company has since become a major provider of SaaS technology for a wide swath of the Microsoft environment with 2020 revenue of $152 million, of which 75 percent is recurring revenue. The company estimates 2021 revenue to reach $194 million, of which over 80 percent will be recurring.

Dr. Tianyi “TJ” Jiang, CEO of AvePoint, spoke with CRN to discuss the role AvePoint plays in the Microsoft channel and the role the channel plays in AvePoint. He said all of the company’s SMB business is indirect, with enterprise business eventually slated to be nearly all indirect soon.

“We look at the best public software companies like Microsoft, for example,” he said. “They are 100 percent channel, right? I think that’s the end game. That’s the way to scale, to provide truly differentiated offerings through distribution partners, through service partners and value-added resellers, to provide channels. So I think the momentum is toward 100 percent channel.”

Jiang also discussed why AvePoint went the SPAC route to an IPO, noting that the merger with Apex gave it a board of directors experienced with operations management and acquisitions.

“It went well for us,” he said. “We still stick by our decision. [And] once you’re public, it doesn’t matter how you go public. It’s the performance of the company that earns credibility with investors.”

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