K2 is proud to have helped organizations drive digital transformation for 20 years. Throughout this history, our platform has helped businesses build outcome-driven business applications with minimal coding—connecting people, processes, and data. Today, as more of our customers migrate to K2 Cloud and move towards automating processes enterprise-wide, K2 continues to innovate with powerful capabilities to solve any business problem.
K2 was founded by Adriaan van Wyk and Olaf Wagner, two recent college graduates, and incorporated in South Africa in 2000. They had the vision to simplify process-based applications and change how business is done. Since then, K2 has grown into an award-winning business application platform company with 500 employees and offices across the globe.
In 2000, K2 opened its first office in Johannesburg. While headquarters has since relocated to the U.S., K2’s Johannesburg office remains one of its largest.
K2’s first public software release, K2.net v1 2001, aimed to help organizations build better business applications and simplify processes. The following year, K2.net v2 helped the company secure its initial customer base and was widely adopted across multiple regions in South Africa and Southeast Asia.
In 2001, K2 reached a milestone 15 employees in its Johannesburg office.
In mid-2002, K2 opened its first foreign office (in Singapore) and achieved its first international sale.
In August 2002, K2 was awarded ISV of the Year by Microsoft in the EMEA region, its first major award.
This major product release was the software that allowed K2 to enter the U.S. market. Because K2 had cutting-edge integrations with many Microsoft products released that year, it was included in the keynote demo at every Microsoft Office 2003 launch event in the U.S. – with 64 regional launch events and thousands of attendees.
In mid-2003, K2 started doing work and finding customers in the United States. The first U.S. customers included Callaway Golf and National Pen Company.
Today, in order to accommodate a growing workforce, K2 headquarters has relocated to a larger office in the Seattle area.
In 2006, K2 expanded its world-wide presence with additional offices in the APAC and EMEA regions. Today, apart from our U.S. headquarters, K2 has offices in the U.K., Germany, Spain, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and Thailand.
K2 has maintained a close partnership with Microsoft over the years, creating customer solutions that integrate seamlessly with Microsoft products.
K2 blackpearl was originally a code name for one of our most eventful product releases—eventually sticking as the official title. K2 blackpearl integrated several ground-breaking features still in place today, including patented SmartObjects for integrations (featuring SharePoint), multiple workflow designers, a central workspace, reporting, and K2 connect.
K2 Underground was established to help K2 users find answers quickly and share tips with others in the community. This gave users a forum to share not only issues and resolutions but also custom-coded “black market” solutions. Today, relaunched as K2 Community, the site has over 20,000 active members and 65,000 posts.
K2 connect for SAP provides a user-friendly interface for developers to model business entities against an SAP environment with little-to-no code.
The Best of TechEd Awards recognize innovative products and services offered by Microsoft partners. K2 blackpearl was selected in the SharePoint Development Tools category for its ability to leverage SharePoint and Microsoft Office Forms Server to surface the custom-created business applications. K2 was selected again in 2011 and 2012.
Professional K2 blackpearl was published February 3, 2009 by 14 authors, including K2 employees and members of the community. The book was made possible by blackpearl’s strong following and input from active members of K2 Underground.
K2 was issued patents for two key features in the platform: SmartForms and SmartObjects. Today, K2 has been issued a number of patents in the US, Europe, and Australia.
K2 announced its first cloud offering with the release of K2 Appit, delivering no-code workflow apps for Microsoft SharePoint Online. K2 Appit allows users to add intuitive forms and data from line of business systems to deliver more full-featured apps.
K2’s first ever global user conference premiered in Las Vegas and completely sold out. K2 leaders, customers and partners highlighted solutions and shared valuable insights, tips and tricks, and real-life stories about how K2 is making an impact in their organizations. The conference name, FastFWD, stands for fast forms, workflow, and data.
K2 accepted a strategic investment from Francisco Partners, a leading global private equity firm focused on the technology sector, to support investment in K2’s go-to-market initiatives and product innovation.
Previously located in Redmond, WA, K2 headquarters’ relocation to Bellevue, WA marks the first time the company has occupied an entire building.
In 2017 we evolved our product strategy from an on-premise focus to a cloud-first focus. Since the transition, we have seen many of our customers migrate from K2 blackpearl and K2 Five to our cloud platform. We are especially proud that we have successfully completed well over 1 billion workflows since the inception of the company.
K2 co-founder, board member, and former CEO, Adriaan van Wyk said: “With the release of our latest platform last year, including K2 Cloud, K2 has a massive opportunity to realize its mission of automating every process in every organization. Couple that with Evan’s vast experience in the software industry, especially in the cloud, and I think we have a winning combination.”
In 2019, K2 acquired two longtime distributors of K2. The acquisition of K2NE allowed K2 to increase the direct customer footprint to 14 European countries, while acquiring K2 Australia strengthened the company’s foothold in the Australian market.
Recently, K2 has formed partnerships with major names in RPA, AI, machine learning, and cloud services. In 2019, K2 announced two new partnerships. Its partnership with Dropbox enables enterprises to simplify complex workflows and accelerate digital transformation, while a Google Cloud partnership enables K2’s customers to discover, connect, and manage information across desktop and cloud-based applications in Google Drive.
K2 is built on a deep foundation of digital process automation. Twenty years later, we continue to innovate, bringing people, robots and data together to drive intelligent process automation and accelerate business decisions.
These customers have been with K2 for over 15 years.
“With K2, we can take the member process from hours—and multiple sessions—down to less than 40 minutes. It’s a much better experience for the member, and it’s easier for member service representatives to get involved in new business banking opportunities.”
David Arrowsmith, VP of Business Solutions, First West Credit UnionK2 customer for 11 years
“Our Investment Requests Process is now 50% faster than before. As a result, Gebauer & Griller can now make faster business decisions and allocate funding more promptly for production line maintenance or new projects.”
Markus Kasteiner, Systems and Network Manager, Gebauer & GrillerK2 customer for 11 years
30% increase in pre-production quality
Processing 145,000 claims annually
Processes automatically circulated to 8 or more approvers
$330,000 saved annually with greater consistency and improved reporting