NetSuite is one of the most popular cloud-based business software suites in the world. But it didn’t start out that way. In fact, NetSuite has a long and storied history.
Let’s take a look at the history of NetSuite, and see how it became the powerhouse that it is today.
NetSuite was started in 1998 by Evan Goldberg, who is currently serving as the company’s CEO. The company started with $125 million in funding from Larry Ellison, currently Oracle’s Executive Chairman and CTO.
Back then, the company was first known as NetLedger, portraying the idea of General Ledger on the Internet. It was the first company to offer web-hosted business management applications to users.
Also, NetSuite is regarded as the first cloud computing software company. The company’s maxim at the time was created around the concept of developing accounting software on the cloud.
In short, many believe NetSuite might have been the first company to coin the term ‘cloud-based’ in relation to business software. The term ‘cloud’ was rarely used back then in 1998 when NetSuite started.
From inception, NetSuite was targeted primarily to be browser-based. The aim was to make it so that with a simple login to a browser, the end-user could easily get to work with real-time access anywhere.
On the other hand, most of its rivals were desktop software that needed to be downloaded and installed.
NetSuite knew what they were doing right from the beginning. One of the reasons why the company turned out successful was that they offered real-time information for all users – end-users, executives, accountants, etc.
From the year 2003 onward, more functionalities such as customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management, and so on were introduced in the system.
This was the same time when the name was modified to NetSuite.
NetSuite kept on adding new modules and features to the product mix and has never looked back ever since.
In 2007, NetSuite had its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The company issued 6.2 million shares at $26 apiece, raising $161 million in a Dutch auction-style IPO, valuing NetSuite at $1.7 billion.
In 2008, NetSuite released its global business management software suite, NetSuite OneWorld, to provide seamless global support for multinational organisations.
By 2009, with the introduction of SuiteCloud Platform, NetSuite had taken another step in its business by opening it up to be used by software application developers and partners.
The company also released NetSuite SuiteCommerce in 2012, which is its own natively integrated B2C and B2B eCommerce platform.
NetSuite has acquired a number of companies over the years. For instance, in 2013, NetSuite acquired OrderMotion, Retail Anywhere, and Venda; in 2014, it acquired social HR player TribeHR; and in 2015, it bought commerce marketing software company Bronto.
NetSuite’s market capitalization was put at $7.8 billion as of March 2015 in an index of public cloud computing companies tracked by venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners.
In 2016, NetSuite hit a $1 billion run rate. In the same year, NetSuite was acquired by Oracle for $9.3 billion, making it the third-largest software company acquisition by enterprise value in the industry.
“NetSuite will benefit from Oracle’s global scale and reach to accelerate the availability of our cloud solutions in more industries and more countries”
Zach Nelson, the then Chief Executive Officer of NetSuite, said.
In 2021, NetSuite now has over 24,000 unique customers.
NetSuite founder, Evan Goldberg, has been the driving force behind the company. He coded and developed the program himself and is still involved with the technical side of the product today. As a matter of fact, Evan is now the CEO of the company (technically Executive Vice President of the NetSuite Global Business Unit).
Here’s Evan talking about the first 20 years of NetSuite, the relationship with Oracle, and the plan for the next 20 years of NetSuite:
As a truly scalable system, NetSuite is here to stay. The company believes in the product so much so that NetSuite itself runs on the NetSuite system.
NetSuite is, in fact, the only one of the major mid-market ERP players – SAP, Microsoft and Sage inclusive – that has a true public face to their product. Having a real person humanises this powerful business management suite and differentiates it from the competition.
If you’d like to find out more about NetSuite and how it can help your organisation, please get in touch with us today.