AvePoint and Apex Announce Initial Public Merger: Here’s What I Pitched Investors

Post Date: 11/23/2020
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Today we announced AvePoint will go public via a $2.0 billion USD initial public merger with Apex Technology Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: APXT), a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). I am honored to continue leading this wonderful team of passionate and agile forward-thinkers.

This is good news for AvePoint and for our customers. We plan to use this infusion of capital to scale our innovation so we can deliver more value and more solutions across Microsoft 365 and other digital collaboration platforms. We will expand our geographic footprint as well as look to increase our channel presence and support for managed service providers.

When we announced our last major investment in January this year, I talked about what that funding meant for our customers and told the story of our key break that ultimately led us to where we are today.

How It Started
How Its Going

For this latest milestone, rather than reflecting on the past, I wanted to bring people behind the scenes and walk them through the presentation that I delivered to our investors. They are simple slides, but they tell a bigger story of who we are, the mindset that got us here and where we are going.

Agility and Invention

If I had to pick one slide that tells the story of AvePoint, this would be it. Going through this process forces you to think about who you really are as an organization and the answer I came up with is this: we are and always will be at our core innovators who push the boundaries of the Microsoft 365 and digital collaboration space.

You can see in this graph that we aren’t a one trick pony or a flash in the pan. We have consistently developed first-to-market solutions – from the days of DocAve CD-ROMs and being the first SharePoint migration vendor, to being one of the first vendors to move our solutions onto Microsoft Cloud as IaaS/PaaS and then SaaS provider, to our recent Policies and Insights SaaS product that is the first to identify, prioritize and enforce actions to prevent the exposure of sensitive information in Microsoft 365.

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Change and agility are hard. There aren’t too many 20-year-old technology companies around today, especially ones that are thriving and still innovating, outside of the giant household names. Agility has been our strongest organizational value which allowed us to recognize and quickly pivot to take advantage of trends. It is the value that enabled us to get through the leaner years from 2013 to 2016 when we bootstrapped the entire transformation of our technologies and, most importantly, company to a SaaS model.

Meeting The Demand For Organizations To Collaborate With Confidence

Speaking of taking advantage of trends, this slide shows why this was the right time to go public. Explosive data growth, increasing data regulations, shifts to the cloud, hyper growth of Microsoft Teams were all trends that fueled our growth prior to the pandemic. The impacts of COVID-19 have greatly accelerated these trends.

This digital transformation has side effects and our solutions help organizations increase the productivity of their digital collaboration through transformation, governance and compliance. In other words, our moment is now, and we need to scale our operations to meet the demand of our current and future customers. Our announcement today will help us do just that.

Microsoft Expertise and Partnership

We would not be where we are today without Microsoft. It’s not just been the growth of SharePoint and the Microsoft 365 platforms that we support, but the partnership as well. AvePoint is proof that companies can thrive, rather than be squashed, by following Microsoft’s footsteps.

It wasn’t enough for us to be one of hundreds of thousands of partners.  We wanted to be THE Microsoft partner. So, we developed our technology, relationships, and platform with a focus that allowed us to provide more value than anyone else.

Scaling Expertise Beyond the Technology of the Day

If AvePoint had become only the SharePoint experts, we wouldn’t be around today. Yes, we go deep in our expertise within the Microsoft product portfolio, but the real expertise we have deliberately cultivated has been around how to support and scale enterprise data protection, compliance, collaboration.

We aren’t Microsoft Teams records and governance experts.  We are enterprise record management and technology governance experts. That is the difference that has allowed us to add value to organizations across platforms and industries.

The other key component this slide demonstrates is that we have made it a priority for our products to not just be monitoring and nagging systems like many of our competitors offer. We challenge ourselves to say how can we take the next step and develop a system of automation that reduces or removes the need for manual labor on this tedious task?

Disciplined Growth

This is one of my favorite slides because it shows how hard it is for an enterprise SaaS company like AvePoint to post strong growth numbers while staying cash positive. There are 212 public software companies and AvePoint is one of 5 that is growing at a rate of more than 25% revenue while maintaining a higher than 10% EBIT margin.

This reflects our company’s disciplined growth as well as the strong overall market demand for our solutions.

Focus on Customer Value

Throughout this whole process, when you’re preparing, examining and discussing your numbers like the ones in the previous slide, it can be easy to forget that it all boils down to the value you are providing your customers.

There have been a few memorable examples of companies reaching high valuations without a clear value proposition, but sooner or later, company value and customer value always align.

With AvePoint, it’s a point of pride that our solutions go beyond being a monitoring and nag system. They feature automation that saves your team time to generate savings while making you more compliant and secure.

The Best Is Yet To Come

Our name “AvePoint” was coined by my fellow co-founder, Kai Gong. It was during one of his daily commutes into New York City when he saw Times Square through a new lens. He realized Times Square was where the avenues merge, bringing together people, ideas, and energy. Thus “AvePoint” came from the dream that his company could also be this point, at which all avenues come together, to enable collaboration with confidence.

The AvePoint logo symbolizes a rising sun just above a mountain, but also a person with a bowing head. This duality reflects the character of every AvePointer —dream big and strive to make a difference, but always with humility.

It is with this in mind that I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to AvePoint’s growth and been part of our journey over the last two decades. Our name, logo, and entire reason for being is centered around our vision to unleash the power of you.


No Offer or Solicitation
This communication shall not constitute a solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the business combination discussed herein. This communication also shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any states or jurisdictions in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of the Securities Act, or an exemption therefrom.

Important Information for Investors and Stockholders
This press release relates to a proposed transaction between AvePoint and Apex. In connection with the proposed transaction, Apex intends to file a registration statement on Form S-4 with the SEC, which will also include a document that serves as a prospectus and proxy statement of Apex, referred to as a proxy statement/prospectus. A proxy statement/prospectus will be sent to all Apex shareholders. Apex will file other documents regarding the proposed transaction with the SEC. Before making any voting decision, investors and security holders of Apex are urged to read the registration statement, the proxy statement/prospectus and all other relevant documents filed or that will be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed transaction as they become available because they will contain important information about the proposed transaction.

Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the registration statement, the proxy statement/prospectus and all other relevant documents filed or that will be filed with the SEC by Apex through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, the websites referenced in this press release is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this press release.

Participants in the Solicitation
Apex and its directors and officers may be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies of Apex’s stockholders in connection with the proposed transaction. Apex’s stockholders and other interested persons may obtain, without charge, more detailed information regarding the directors and officers of Apex in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, which has been filed with the SEC. Additional information will be available in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus when it becomes available.


Dr. Tianyi Jiang (TJ) co-founded AvePoint in 2001 and has served as the organization's Chief Executive Officer since 2005. TJ is responsible for overall strategy and direction of AvePoint, which includes product innovation, investor relations, and business development. He is focused on delivering value to customers, partners, shareholders, and the AvePoint team, every day. A recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey in 2010, TJ received both B.S. and master’s in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD in Data Mining from Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.

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