Enterprise, IT management

Cherwell Raises $50 Million to Counter ServiceNow, BMC in ITSM


Cherwell Software has raised $50 million from KKR, the private equity firm. The funding positions Cherwell to accelerate its business to disrupt ServiceNow, BMC Software and other key players in the IT service management market, according to CEO Craig Harper.

Cherwell has previously raised money from Insight Venture Partners, but this particular funding round could be a defining moment for the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based company. Cherwell  has quietly grown to 450 employees, and the company supports 1750 customers worldwide, Harper tells ChannelE2E.

Still, the company is overshadowed by ITSM cloud darling ServiceNow and legacy vendors like BMC. Amid that reality, the funding will:

  • Accelerate innovation within research and redevelopment, and the R&D will help Cherwell to go up market against enterprise ITSM players.
  • Position Cherwell to potentially make acquisitions that align well with the company's core software. Po
  • Boost Cherwell's sales and marketing presence. "Our win rates are very, very high," Harper tells ChannelE2E. "But we need to get out in the market more."

That's where key company leaders like VP and Chief Marketing Officer Jason Haggar enter the picture. He'll position Cherwell's brand as a "fantastic" alternative to legacy ITSM solutions out there. He points to Cherwell's concurrent licensing model, which is a fraction of the cost of traditional ITSM tools, he asserts. It's also a "codeless" model, which means customers can make modifications without breaking the platform each time Cherwell makes updates.

On the partner front, Harper sees multiple opportunities:

  • Many partners are customers. For instance, systems integrators leverage Cherwell internally to manage their businesses.
  • Other partners are reselling Cherwell into corporate IT accounts.
  • While some partners are both consuming Cherwell and reselling it into corporate markets.

Although Cherwell is growing the company faces strong competitors. ServiceNow is widely considered the fastest-growing, cloud-based ITSM platform. And traditional ITSM companies have been retooling their client-server software for cloud-oriented consumption models.

ServiceNow, in particular, has been catching on with MSPs, according to CEO Frank Slootman. Also, big consulting firms like Accenture and Atos have been acquiring ServiceNow-focused channel partners -- proving that there's a strong IT channel appetite for cloud-based ITSM expertise.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.