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EPFL spin-off Nexthink becomes the new Swiss unicorn

With $180M in financing round, the leader in software for managing employee’s digital experience reaches $1.1 billion valuation. This is the second unicorn from EPFL after MindMaze.

Nexthink, the leader in digital employee experience (DEX) management software, today announced a $180 million Series D financing round reaching a valuation of $1.1 billion. Permira, through its Growth Opportunities Fund, led the round alongside existing investors including Highland Europe and Index Ventures. In addition to the investment that puts the EPFL spin-off as the new Swiss unicorn, the company has announced that Bruce Chizen, former CEO of Adobe and senior advisor at Permira, will join its board of directors. The latest round will be used to accelerate Nexthink’s innovation, rapid growth and expansion, particularly in the US.

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Digital workplaces revolution

“A huge congratulations to Nexthink, a leader in digital employee experience management and the future of work, on becoming a unicorn company – one of only 4 Swiss-based start-ups to achieve this milestone,” says EPFL president Martin Vetterli. “I am proud to see another EPFL success story. Nexthink was co-founded by our EPFL alumni, Pedro Bados and Patrick Hertzog, and employs many (20-30) collaborators from EPFL.”

“The rise in remote working has dramatically accelerated the need for Digital Employee Experience, as a big part of all the interactions that employees have with companies are now digital,” said Pedro Bados, CEO and Co-founder of Nexthink. “We see a huge opportunity ahead of us to redefine the future way in which companies will provide digital workplaces to their workforce. Bruce is a terrific addition to the team. At Adobe he transformed the way people work by providing delightful experiences to millions of software users. Now we can do the same with the employees of thousands of companies around the world.”

Solving problems in minutes instead of days

Nexthink provides the most complete digital experience management platform to IT teams to discover, monitor and proactively improve the digital services they provide to their employees. Nexthink’s award winning platform provides IT with a cloud-native solution that enables unprecedented insight into employees’ daily experiences of technology at the device, application and network level. The solution’s unique event-level visibility and advanced visualizations make troubleshooting dramatically easier, empowering IT teams to continuously improve employees’ digital experiences, solving problems in minutes instead of days.

“I am proud to see another EPFL success story. Nexthink was co-founded by our EPFL alumni, Pedro Bados and Patrick Hertzog, and employs many (20-30) collaborators from EPFL”, Martin Vetterli, EPFL president.

The company is now close to 700 employees and plans to reach 900 by the end of 2021, hiring in all major locations in the U.S., Europe and India. During 2020 Nexthink has continued its hypergrowth crossing the $100M ARR, adding 180 customers and reaching 1,000 worldwide including 200 of the Global 2000 and a total of 11M employees. In addition, in October, Nexthink was recognized as a leader in End User Experience Management in the Forrester New Wave™: End-User Experience Management, Q4 2020.

About the author


EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities.

The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is an engineering college active in education and research. It covers disciplines ranging from the Basic Sciences to Engineering, Architecture and the Life Sciences. EPFL is a public institution founded in 1969, mainly funded by the Swiss Confederation. The figures below illustrate the extent of EPFL’s growth and its ranking on the international stage.