A start-up needs love, kindness and some drinks.
Thank You to the lovely folks at Forbes and Mattermark for covering Inside Sales Box as one of the hottest Cloud-based Marketing Startups of 2015.
We were so thrilled that in the excitement we started drawing an infographic (refer below) that we fell in love with and then you know what happened to the time.
The infographic depicts the entire Mattermark spreadsheet and also adds interesting details on the business and customer segments, addressed by the 30 odd cloud businesses.
Do you know which business segments dominate this list?
ANALYTICS. They are everywhere, thanks to data, data and more data.
Inside sales software also finds (some) space.
The Inside Sales Software space is fast blurring the line between marketing and sales, and the Inside Sales Box team is super excited to etch out clarity in this increasingly ambiguous space.
Today, when power firmly resides in the hands of the buyer, businesses are confronting failures by keeping marketing and sales functions, separate. Ironically, the solution may not lie in its integration.
This complexity is keeping the Inside Sales Box product team on its toes.
Back to the list now, and here pops the infographic.
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Of the 34 companies covered, there were a few like Zulu, Gizmo.com, Cojoin who we could not trace.
SnappyTV was the odd one out, since it had been acquired by Twitter. (Atleast that is what their website says so). Please note that the Forbes article mentioned that companies with exits were excluded. It seems SnappyTV just switched itself ON.
Analytics Software Companies
10 of the remaining 30 companies are focused on analytics.
I bet Lattice Engines is doing some pretty exciting things with predictive lead scoring. Having raised $ 50 million, pots of data should expectedly follow. We are already seeing the need for more sophistication in this area, from an 'inside sales' perspective. Inside sales agents need more scientific support in developing their customer engagement skills, and analytics based on significant data points might have predictable answers.
Segment which has raised $ 43 million till date is rightly offering a data unification product to track prospect interactions across devices and platforms. Interestingly, it has an SMB offering, unlike other companies in the Analytics pack. I wonder how the offtake has been by small and medium businesses (SMB).
Tubular Labs, having raised $ 22 million, is into enterprise level video analytics, covering YouTube as well. While a B2C consumer use case is understandable, I would wonder how B2B brands are approaching Video Analytics - peformance marketing or brand awareness?
What strikes me about these Analytics software companies is their clear and specific messaging. How is that translating into traction? Anyone?
SOLOMO brings us back to the physical world with a location analytics offering. It sounds interesting and a little fuzzy and I am intrigued how are they capturing 'useful' data to make business sense. It sure is a must watch, from an IOT perspective.
netFactor, Local ID and 'Use It Better' are in the user exerience analytics space, having raised a mix of Series A and pre-series A. 'Use It Better' appears to have an offering more aligned to the mobile space.
Exacaster makes an entry into the list from Lithuania. Focussing on big data predictive analytics, it had raised a pre-series A round, three years ago. It has been some time for these guys.
Business Process Software
Apttus that has raised the largest funding in this list, has leveraged the salesforce marketplace successfully over the years. We all could learn how they have also scaled their offering from a quotation software to a 'still developing' business process software. It is exciting to see them doing well on the growth score parameters too.
Booker which comes second in fund-raising is an interesting SMB play, bringing digital to the streets, literally. Tremendous scale exists, given the retail play its customers enjoy.
Orbitera appears a marketplace platform with a modern feel to it. It seems as if they are B2B focused, not clear though if they are servicing the SMB. It isn't just the recent $ 2 million pre-series A that is the cause of attention, but also a customer list with marquee names.
SalesVu is similar to Booker, but their last round happened four years ago. And why do they have a negative Mattermark growth score? The opportunity of bringing digital and internet to small business retail seems like an opportunity waiting to explode. The SalesVu situation makes it queer.
Tydy, a mobile based employee engagement platform, seems a little out of place here. Or is it that Tydy would be scaling up their product for customer onboarding? Answers from their team or Mattermark would help clarify.
Cazoomi seems interesting. Undoubtedly, they are solving a real problem. That of data integration across an organization distributed over numerous applications. Nevertheless, their funding history and growth score, do not reflect traction.
Inside Sales Software
Inside Sales Box belongs here. I could write a whole lot about the forward looking features that Inside Sales Box is building in its inside sales software. But at this moment I am content with highlighting the fact that Inside Sales Box is super excited about the far reaching changes that are happening at the cusp of marketing and sales. And yes, it is also complicated.
Other than Texo, SalesForce Europe and KnowledgeTree also find mention in the list. The services nature of SalesForce Europe makes us curious about its presence in this list. Whereas, KnowledgeTree is taking a content based approach to Inside Sales and Sales enablement, which definitely is the need of the hour.
Chute looks spot on with its approach of using UGC to help businesses co-create content. This visual marketing automation tool has intrigued me with its rights management capabilities. When is the next round guys?
SocialEars is a social media listening tool. Isn't that space too crowded now? They have thrown in a free plan too, if you are looking for one.
Email has withstood the test of time, with increasing relevance.
The Mattermark list features two companies both from Paris, France - Mailjet that raised series B early this year and SendinBlue that had a series A round couple of years ago. Time tested ideas with a differentiated approach still get attention, don't they.
Punchh, Toushay and MobStac have raised $ 2 Million to $ 4 Million in different rounds to derive consumer insights using a combination of digital and physical tools. Punchh has a clearly articulated value proposition. The others could make progress, but may need the support of retail enterprises with a diverse consumer base.
Ads and SMS
Clickatell raised a signficant Series B round almost five years ago for its bulk sms platform. Messaging apps read WhatsApp must have compromised their projections and plans.
AdAgility raised a pre-series A in July 2015. Given the user orientation towards useful and educational content, they could scale their ad offering with a content recommendation spin.
What I find remarkable about this list is that it covers the entire spectrum from business process to analytics, thus presenting a comprehensive view of cloud-based marketing startups.
While I have attempted to study each of the companies well, please pardon me if I got a few things awry. Please let me know and I will put them straight.
Happy reading !!!