Lime Technologies - Monterro.com

Success story

Lime Technologies

Lime in the limelight

A snapshot

Lime Technologies is a market-leading CRM that offers a holistic experience and a smarter way to conduct business. The team pride themselves on their local roots and on delivering their services with love.

Back in 2008, Lime wanted to scale up and realise its true growth potential. So the founders decided to sell.

But five years later, the new data provider-type environment proved not to be a fit for the rapid-growth tech company. So former CEO at Lime, Erik Syrén, encouraged the Lime team to reassess.

Lime’s new vision

It was time to confront some hard truths.

Lime had a strong vision and an enviable company culture, but in context with other fast-evolving competitors, parts of the business were beginning to look dated for a software company.

Its price model was upfront and it delivered its software on-prem. It also hadn’t invested in new markets like other Nordic countries.

To help take Lime to the next level, the team needed more than funds – they needed insight, experience, and guidance.

“We started looking beyond simple investment options, for an active partner with experience, skills, and market knowledge, who could manage our transition and run Lime with us, together, says Erik.”

So, in 2013 Erik met with Monterro’s Peter Larsson and Thomas Bill.

Meeting Monterro

Monterro’s market insight meant they were able to create a business plan with Lime – right from day one.

“That first meeting really sticks in my mind,” says Erik, “They immediately understood what we wanted to do, and how to achieve it. And they really knew our competition – how we could compete with Microsoft and Salesforce, for example.”

Monterro’s plan covered Lime’s on-prem to SaaS transition, company acquisitions, and international expansion, right through to a potential IPO exit strategy, 10 years down the line.

Lime Technology

Investment year: 2014

Divestment year: 2019

Area: CRM software

“We’re now doing deals with hundreds of customers every year and we have a lower risk with recurring revenues. This was only possible with Monterro.”
Nils Olsson, CEO of Lime Technologies

How Monterro helped Lime grow

Switching from on-prem to SaaS was a natural first step.

This transition affects every part of the company – how you market, your cash-flows, your profitability, and as Erik is keen to stress, it was the guidance throughout which was most valuable.

“People can be a little bit afraid when they see the initial effect on their profits. But Monterro had seen this before, and they knew what it would look like.”

Rigorous and nurturing

Monterro also encouraged Lime to invest more in product development – tripling the size of the data development department.

Lime tightened its focus on key verticals, opening up a new office in Denmark, investing more, and rebuilding offices in Norway, Finland and the Netherlands.

In parallel to this, Monterro began equipping Lime with all the routines and processes, reports and structures necessary to be a public company someday.

And yet, in spite of the team’s impact, Erik also hails the precision and care of Monterro’s approach – which meant minimal disruption to Lime’s culture.

“If you ask our employees what Monterro did, they would probably say, ‘Nothing!’,” says Erik. “While Monterro were extremely active in the boardroom, they had huge respect for Lime’s DNA.”

The company got the partnership, change, and growth it wanted, but also preserved what makes it Lime.

How is Lime different now?

  • Lime is international now, and established in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.
  • Instead of one deal, it’s now doing deals with hundreds of customers every year and has a low risk with recurring revenues
  • It has a template for how to move into new markets
  • It has acquired several companies
  • It has broadened its product portfolio
  • It has more than tripled in size
  • It’s listed at Nasdaq Nordic Stock Exchange

 

Advice for others in Lime’s position

Lime’s journey has been a true success story, and Erik is keen to share his insight.

  • Take your time choosing a partner
    “Understand what you need from a partner. It’s easy to treat the deal as a transaction, but for us, it was about knowledge, expertise, and guidance. Trust is vital, so take the time to find the right people.”
  • Set clear goals
    “It can be very tempting to over promise when you’re trying to sell your company. Be realistic and make sure you’re all on the same page.”
  • Use your time wisely in the beginning
    “You need to deliver in that first phase, because you need to build up the trust between you and your new partners.”

Lime's growth in figures

19%
Annual growth rate (CAGR)
+212%
EBITA (year 2014-2020)
100 -> 350
Amount of employees
28% -> 60%
% Recurring revenue of total revenue

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