BVP invests in Anaqua to fund the future of IP management

October 17, 2013
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Anaqua, Inc.

Anaqua sells software and services for Intellectual Property (IP) management and Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) primarily to large enterprises.

Investment Date: 
2013
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Today, BVP is excited to welcome Anaqua to its portfolio.  Anaqua is a leading provider of software and services for Intellectual Property (IP) asset management. Anaqua's software helps global companies grow and protect their IP, including inventions, patents, trade secrets, brands and trademarks, and also helps law firms improve their IP practices.

Managing IP has never been more important. In the past, careful IP management was a best practice. Today, it’s a strategic advantage. The recent shift in U.S. law from “first to invent” to “first to file” has made it even more important for companies to be proactive and systematic when it comes to managing their IP.  In order to compete in today’s market, businesses must improve their processes for identifying patentable technologies early in the R&D lifecycle; resulting in a growing volume of patent and trademark filings to manage across multiple countries.

Anaqua provides Web-based collaboration software to help companies manage, file and renew patents. The software not only helps enterprises identify patent and trademark opportunities, but also facilitates collaboration between inventors and researchers, as well as in-house IP teams and outside law firms. Anaqua streamlines the patent application and renewal process to give companies a better picture of their current patents and trademarks, including when they expire and what the surrounding global patent landscape looks like. Anaqua’s payment services platform can then file the patent in 190 countries and ensure that the proper renewal applications and payments are managed on the customer’s behalf.

Because IP is now seen as a strategic asset, companies of all stripes are at risk of patent infringement lawsuits from competitors and patent trolls. We’ve seen banks sued over IP issues with their mobile and Web portals, and automobile manufacturers become targets for patent troll lawsuits as cars become more tech-enabled.  Even if regulations change to defend against patent trolls, IP and trademarks will continue to play an important and strategic role in large corporations.

We think Anaqua is representative of a broader trend in business software: the migration of spreadsheet-based business processes to SaaS products that enable vastly better collaboration, management and reporting capabilities. Faced with growing patent and trademark portfolios, many of Anaqua’s prospective customers have reached the limits of what they can do with spreadsheets and email. We expect to see this trend continue to impact the way people work within and across enterprises, particularly as employee usage shifts from PCs to tablets and smart phones. We are pleased to partner with Insight Venture Partners and welcome Anaqua to the fold; we are invested in seeing them grow.