DREAMTECH NEWS

SecurityScorecard snags $180M Series E to measure a company’s security risk

SecurityScorecard has been helping companies understand the security risk of its vendors since 2014 by providing each one with a letter grade based on a number of dimensions. Today, the company announced a $180 million Series E.

The round includes new investors Silver Lake Waterman, T. Rowe Price, Kayne Anderson Rudnick, and Fitch Venture along with existing investors Evolution Equity Partners, Accomplice, Riverwood Capital, Intel Capital, NGP Capital, AXA Venture Partners, GV (Google Ventures) and Boldstart Ventures. The company reports it has now raised $290 million.

Co-founder and CEO Aleksandr Yampolskiy says the company’s mission has not changed since it launched. “The idea that we started the company was a realization that when I was CISO and CTO I had no metrics at my disposal. I invested in all kinds of solutions where I was completely in the dark about how I’m doing compared to the industry and how my vendors and suppliers were doing compared to me,” Yampolskiy told me.

He and his co-founder COO Sam Kassoumeh likened this to a banker looking at a mortgage application and having no credit score to check. The company changed that by starting a system of scoring the security posture of different companies and giving them a letter grade of A-F just like at school.

Today, it has ratings on more than 2 million companies worldwide, giving companies a way to understand how secure their vendors are. Yampolskiy says that his company’s solution can rate a new company not in the data set in just five minutes. Every company can see its own scorecard for free along with advice on how to improve that score.

He notes that in fact, the disastrous SolarWinds hack was entirely predictable based on SecurityScorecard’s rating system. “SolarWinds’ score has been lagging below the industry average for quite a long time, so we weren’t really particularly surprised about them,” he said.

The industry average is around 85 or a solid B in the letter grade system, whereas SolarWinds was sitting at 70 or a C for quite some time, indicating its security posture was suspect, he reports.

While Yampolskiy didn’t want to discuss valuation or revenue or even growth numbers, he did say the company has 17,000 customers worldwide including 7 of the 10 top pharmaceutical companies in the world.

The company has reached a point where this could be the last private fundraise it does before going public, but Yampolskiy kept his cards close on timing, saying it could happen some time in the next couple of years.


By Ron Miller

Saleor scores $2.5M seed round for its ‘headless’ e-commerce platform

Saleor, a Poland and U.S.-based startup that offers a “headless” e-commerce platform to make it easier for developers to build better online shopping experiences, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding.

The round is led by Berlin’s Cherry Ventures, with participation from various angels. They include Guillermo Rauch (Vercel CEO and inventor of Next.js), Chris Schagen (former CMO of Contentful) and Kevin Mahaffey (co-founder of Lookout).

Saleor says the injection of capital will be invested in further developing Saleor‘s headless e-commerce platform, including a soon-to-launch cloud product and GraphQL API for front-end engineers.

Founded in 2020 but with a history going back to 2013, years before founders Mirek Mencel and Patryk Zawadzki spun out the product separate from their agency, Saleor is described as an “API-first” e-commerce platform that takes a “headless” approach. The idea is that the platform does the back-end heavy lifting so that developers can focus on the front end where most of the value is created for users.

“Saleor was born of necessity when our agency work at Mirumee Software required more modular, flexible and scalable e-commerce software,” Saleor co-founder Mirek Mencel recalls. “Most solutions for bigger brands came with proprietary baggage like vendor lock-in, slow adoption of new technologies and commercial certification programs. On the open-source side, we didn’t enjoy Magento’s developer experience and felt alternatives weren’t viable at scale”.

And so Saleor was conceived as an open-source platform focused on “technical excellence and quality” that could deliver greater scalability and extensibility than existing proprietary software. By 2016, the product had grown from something Mencel and Zawadzki’s agency used internally into a platform used by developers around the world.

“We could have stopped there, but saw brands pressing for more revolutionary front-end experiences,” Mencel says. “Decoupling Saleor’s core from its presentation layer was the obvious path to revolutionary front-ends. As difficult as it was, we tore down what was a rather good open-source e-commerce platform and rebuilt it API-first”.

Beyond their early headless conviction, the pair also came to the realisation that GraphQL delivered “more power, precision and developer happiness” than REST. Reasoning that most developers prefer “a few things done superbly to many things done well,” they committed exclusively to Saleor’s GraphQL API. “We have never looked back,” says Mencel.

In 2018, the original six-person team shipped Saleor 2.0. Now with a headcount of 20, Mencel says Saleor has a simple vision of developer-first commerce: open-source, GraphQL and “fair-priced” cloud — a vision that Cherry Ventures has clearly bought into.

“We are currently witnessing a paradigm shift with developers switching to headless commerce solutions, allowing more flexible, differentiated shopping experiences,” says Filip Dames, founding partner of Cherry. “Mirek, Patryk, and their team are at the forefront of this development and will enable innovative merchants to build state-of-the-art shopping experiences that scale across all consumer touch points and devices”.

“We decided to pursue venture backing as a way to increase the Saleor core team size and accelerate buildout of Saleor Cloud, which we’ll launch this year,” adds Mencel.


By Steve O’Hear

Amazon will expand its Amazon Care on-demand healthcare offering U.S.-wide this summer

Amazon is apparently pleased with how its Amazon Care pilot in Seattle has gone, since it announced this morning that it will be expanding the offering across the U.S. this summer, and opening it up to companies of all sizes, in addition to its own employees. The Amazon Care model combines on-demand and in-person care, and is meant as a solution from the search giant to address shortfalls in current offering for employer-sponsored healthcare offerings.

In a blog post announcing the expansion, Amazon touted the speed of access to care made possible for its employees and their families via the remote, chat and video-based features of Amazon Care. These are facilitated via a dedicated Amazon Care app, which provides direct, live chats via a nurse or doctor. Issues that then require in-person care is then handled via a house call, so a medical professional is actually sent to your home to take care of things like administering blood tests or doing a chest exam, and prescriptions are delivered to your door as well.

The expansion is being handled differently across both in-person and remote variants of care; remote services will be available starting this summer to both Amazon’s own employees, as well as other companies who sign on as customers, starting this summer. The in-person side will be rolling out more slowly, starting with availability in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and “other cities in the coming months” according to the company.

As of today, Amazon Care is expanding in its home state of Washington to begin serving other companies. The idea is that others will sing on to make Amazon Care part of its overall benefits package for employees. Amazon is touting the speed advantages of testing services, including results delivery, for things including COVID-19 as a major strength of the service.

The Amazon Care model has a surprisingly Amazon twist, too – when using the in-person care option, the app will provide an updating ETA for when to expect your physician or medical technician, which is eerily similar to how its primary app treats package delivery.

While the Amazon Care pilot in Washington only launched a year-and-a-half ago, the company has had its collective mind set on upending the corporate healthcare industry for some time now. It announced a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan back at the very beginning of 2018 to form a joint venture specifically to address the gaps they saw in the private corporate healthcare provider market.

That deep pocketed all-star team ended up officially disbanding at the outset of this year, after having done a whole lot of not very much in the three years in between. One of the stated reasons that Amazon and its partners gave for unpartnering was that each had made a lot of progress on its own in addressing the problems it had faced anyway. While Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan’s work in that regard might be less obvious, Amazon was clearly referring to Amazon Care.

It’s not unusual for large tech companies with lots of cash on the balance sheet and a need to attract and retain top-flight talent to spin up their own healthcare benefits for their workforces. Apple and Google both have their own on-campus wellness centers staffed by medical professionals, for instance. But Amazon’s ambitious have clearly exceeded those of its peers, and it looks intent on making a business line out of the work it did to improve its own employee care services — a strategy that isn’t too dissimilar from what happened with AWS, by the way.


By Darrell Etherington

Docker nabs $23M Series B as as new developer focus takes shape

It was easy to wonder what would become of Docker after it sold its enterprise business in 2019, but it regrouped last year as a cloud native container company focused on developers, and the new approach appears to be bearing fruit. Today, the company announced a $23 million Series B investment.

Tribe Capital led the round with participation from existing investors Benchmark and Insight Partners. Docker has now raised a total of $58 million including the $35 million investment it landed the same day it announced the deal with Mirantis .

To be sure, the company had a tempestuous 2019 when they changed CEOs twice, sold the enterprise division and looked to reestablish itself with a new strategy. While the pandemic made 2020 a trying time for everyone, Docker CEO Scott Johnston says that in spite of that, the strategy has begun to take shape.

“The results we think speak volumes. Not only was the strategy strong, but the execution of that strategy was strong as well,” Johnston told me. He indicated that the company added 1.7 million new developer registrations for the free version of the product for a total of more 7.3 million registered users on the community edition.

As with any open source project, the goal is to popularize the community project and turn a small percentage of those users into paying customers, but Docker’s problem prior to 2019 had been finding ways to do that. While he didn’t share specific numbers, Johnston indicated that annual recurring revenue (ARR) grew 170% last year, suggesting that they are beginning to convert more successfully.

Johnston says that’s because they have found a way to turn a certain class of developer in spite of a free version being available. “Yes, there’s a lot of upstream open source technologies, and there are users that want to hammer together their own solutions. But we are also seeing these eight-to-ten person ‘two pizza teams’ who want to focus on building applications, and so they’re willing to pay for a service,” he said.

That open source model tends to get the attention of investors because it comes with that built-in action at the top of the sales funnel. Tribe’s Arjun Sethi, whose firm led the investment, says his company actually was a Docker customer before investing in the company and sees a lot more growth potential.

“Tribe focuses on identifying N-of-1 companies — top-decile private tech firms that are exhibiting inflection points in their growth, with the potential to scale towards outsized outcomes with long-term venture capital. Docker fits squarely into this investment thesis[…],” Sethi said in a statement.

Johnston says as they look ahead to post-pandemic, he’s learned a lot since his team move out of the office last year. After surveying employees, they were surprised to learn that most have been happier working at home, having more time to spend with family, while taking away a grueling commute. As a result, he sees going virtual first, even after it’s safe to reopen offices.

That said, he is planning to offer a way to get teams together for in-person gatherings and a full company get-together once a year.

“We’ll be virtual first, but then with the savings of the real estate that we’re no longer paying for, we’re going to bring people together and make sure we have that social glue,” he said.


By Ron Miller

Rising Team, with $3 million seed, is a platform that combines management tools with training

Jennifer Dulski has held her fair share of leadership positions, from being president and COO of Change.org to serving as head of product for Google’s shopping and product ads to leading the team responsible for Facebook Groups.

But she’s identified a problem that most people managers will all too clearly understand: training and tools to be a great manager are at a shortage.

That’s why she founded Rising Team, which is today announcing the raise of a $3 million seed round led by Female Founders Fund, with participation from Peterson Ventures, Burst Capital, Xoogler Ventures, 500 Startups, Roble Ventures, Supernode Ventures and several angels.

Dulski explained that there are some tools for managers, like surveys from Gallup and Glint, and there are training options, like executive coaches. But there aren’t many options out there that combine the two.

“I was lucky enough to have the benefit of getting executive coaches or being sent to training, and those felt like being taught how to fish,” said Dulski. “But then it was like being dropped off at the lake with no fishing pole or bait, because I had learned all these things about how to be a good leader but I had no tools to implement what I had learned.”

Rising Team is a platform that combines tools and training to help managers motivate, organize and ultimately effectively lead their team.

The first layer of the platform is the tools suite, which includes proprietary assessments and 1:1 templates. Most employee surveys focus so heavily on the actual job, with questions like “I’m able to do my best work.” With Rising Team, the assessments are geared toward who team members are personally, with a look at how they want to be appreciated or what they believe their talents and skills are.

This helps managers understand how to pair team members together, what tasks they should be assigned to, and truly grasp what motivates each individual that works for them. Alongside these assessment tools, Rising Team also offers training in the form of videos, articles, and audio resources. In the future, the company plans to build out AI-based custom training tips that are powered by data from the assessments.

Rising Team is also building out a community that lets managers communicate with one another.

Interestingly, the startup is taking a bottom-up approach when it comes to revenue, pricing the product in a way that will allow individual managers to personally purchase the software, and hopefully spread the word to the rest of their team. But the door is open for organizations to get the full employee base on the product as well.

For now, Rising Team is in a free beta, so pricing has not yet been announced.

The team is currently made up of 8 people, 60 percent of whom are female and 50 percent of whom are BIPOC.

“It’s really, really important to me and to our team as a whole that we build a diverse team from the start,” said Dulski. “I believe in that so firmly and all the data is really clear that more diverse teams are more successful.”


Early Stage is the premier ‘how-to’ event for startup entrepreneurs and investors. You’ll hear first-hand how some of the most successful founders and VCs build their businesses, raise money and manage their portfolios. We’ll cover every aspect of company-building: Fundraising, recruiting, sales, product market fit, PR, marketing and brand building. Each session also has audience participation built-in – there’s ample time included for audience questions and discussion. Use code “TCARTICLE” at checkout to get 20 percent off tickets right here.


By Jordan Crook

Cyware nabs $30M to help organizations detect and stop advanced cyber attacks

Malicious hacking has become a pernicious and dogged fact of life for more organizations, and it’s a threat that has seemingly grown more complicated and sophisticated over time. One one effective approach to tackling that has been collaboration: not just applying an array of services to address the issue, but creating environments to help those building cybersecurity to work better together. Today one of the startups building tools to do just that is announcing a round of funding, underscoring the opportunity and its own growth within that.

Cyware, a New York startup that has created a platform for organizations to build and operate virtual “cyber fusion centers” —
spaces for people to share threat intelligence, run end-to-end security automation, and orchestrate and execute 360-degree threat responses — has picked up $30 million in funding, a Series B that it will use to continue growing its business.

The funding is being co-led by Advent International and Ten Eleven Ventures. Advent made some waves in the cybersecurity industry last year when it partnered with Crosspoint to acquire Forescout for $1.9 billion. Ten Eleven, meanwhile, is a VC that specializes in cybersecurity startups. Prelude Fund (the venture practice at Mercato Partners), Emerald Development Managers, Great Road Holdings and cloud security firm Zscaler — a mix of financial and strategic investors — also participated. Before this, the startup had raised around $13 million, and it is not disclosing its valuation.

The story of the last year in the world of business has been about how everything has gone online: people and their companies have been working remotely; consumers are browsing, buying and entertaining themselves over the internet and with apps. Digital is where all the traffic is.

Unsurprisingly that has also played out in the world of cybersecurity: the threat landscape has grown, and so cybersecurity responses have grown with them. Cyware said that in the last year it saw 120% year-over-year growth in annual recurring revenue — although it doesn’t disclose actual revenue figures. Its customers are a mix of large enterprises, but also those who both collaborate with others to manage cyber security, such as information sharing communities (ISACs), as well as organizations that manage cybersecurity on behalf of a number of others, such as managed security service providers and computer emergency response teams.

Although many might have a stereotype of a malicious hacker in their heads who sits alone in a darkened room with a determined look in his/her eye, the reality is more likely to be a collaboration between a number of people, providing tips, technology, threads that are developed and so on. Cyware, in its focus on providing a platform for collaboration and creating operations centers, seems to take the same approach in what it has built, a platform to make collaborating easier and part of the solution.

It does so through security orchestration, automation and response (known as SOAR), used by teams to collaborate better and make more informed threat scoring, and to respond better to threat alerts. Indeed, a key part of the challenge for a lot of security services is that they cross multiple parts of organizations, including IT, compliance, trust and safety, and indeed security itself. One aim of Cyware is to create a platform for these all to meet and exchange information that could be helpful to others in one place.

“Over the past decade, security operations teams have had difficulty with trying to sift through copious amounts of threat data and lacked the humans’ role as part of their security orchestration strategies,” said Anuj Goel, Ph.D., cofounder and CEO of Cyware, in a statement. “Our goal with our Virtual Cyber Fusion platform is to help our customers unite their security teams to efficiently respond to high-priority threats by connecting the dots in their environments, and the momentum we’re experiencing is proof that we are executing on that mission. This Series B financing will help us continue to overdeliver for customers, expand our team, improve our platform and truly revolutionize how security operations and threat intelligence teams work together.”

Goel, who cofounded the company with CTO Akshat Jain, cut his teeth in a big security team, as head of global cyber strategy for Citi. He is also an advisor for the Centre for Strategic Cyberspace in London and has worked with other organizations on collaborative approaches to the problem and consequences of malicious hacking.

Investors will have not just been looking at the company’s growth, but also the list of customers — themselves also leaders in cyber — that are trusting Cyware.

“In our increasingly connected environment, companies of all sizes are demanding new and innovative cybersecurity solutions,” said Eric Noeth, Principal, Advent International, in a statement. “Cyware’s early traction among leading enterprises and major ISACs reflects its unique ability to bring together all key security functions to seamlessly anticipate, contextualize and remediate threats. We look forward to drawing on our experience in this sector to help the talented Cyware team make its Virtual Cyber Fusion platform the gold standard technology for enterprises around the world.”


By Ingrid Lunden

Airtable is now valued at $5.77B with a fresh $270 million in Series E funding

Airtable, the no-code relational database that has amassed a customer base that spans 250,000 different organizations, has today announced the close of a $270 million in series E funding. The valuation comes out to $5.77 billion post-money, more than doubling its valuation from September, when it raised $185 million in Series D funding.

This latest round was led by Greenoaks Capital, with participation from WndrCo, as well as existing investors Caffeinated Capital, CRV, and Thrive.

The company says it plans to use the funding to accelerate the development of its enterprise product and growing the team. Also of note: Founder and CEO Howie Liu told Forbes that he was approached by Greenoaks, rather than actively seeking funding.

Airtable is a relational database that many describe as a souped up version of Excel or Google Sheets. Being such, and having the infrastructure to support an app ecosystem on top of that, means that this no-code tool can actually be used to write software. In other words, the use cases are nearly infinite, and so is the potential customer base.

Greenoaks Capital partner Neil Mehta basically said as much in the press release:

We believe Airtable is chasing a massive opportunity to become the ‘residual’ software platform for every bespoke and custom use case that is either performed manually today or structurally underserved by rigid third-party software. By equipping business users with fundamental software primitives that can be assembled together into powerful business applications, Airtable has become central to its users’ everyday workflows but at the same time is scalable and extensible enough to support incredibly complex enterprise use cases like ticketing, content management, and CRM.

Airtable has raised a total of $617 million since inception, according to Crunchbase.


Early Stage is the premier ‘how-to’ event for startup entrepreneurs and investors. You’ll hear first-hand how some of the most successful founders and VCs build their businesses, raise money and manage their portfolios. We’ll cover every aspect of company-building: Fundraising, recruiting, sales, product market fit, PR, marketing and brand building. Each session also has audience participation built-in – there’s ample time included for audience questions and discussion. Use code “TCARTICLE” at checkout to get 20 percent off tickets right here.


By Jordan Crook

Genesis raises $45M to expand its fintech-focussed low-code platform to more verticals

Low-code and no-code tools have been a huge hit with enterprises keen to give their operations more of a tech boost, but often lack the resources to handle more complex integrations. Today, one of the startups that has been building low-code finance tools is announcing funding to tap into that trend and expand its business.

Genesis — which has to date primarily worked with financial services companies, giving non-technical employees the tools to create ways to monitor and manage real-time risk, high-frequency trades and other activities — has picked up $45 million. It plans to use to bring the tools it has already built to a wider set of verticals that have some of the same needs to manage risk, compliance, and other factors as finance — healthcare and manufacturing are two examples — as well as to continue building more into the stack. 

This Series B includes a mix of financial investors along with strategic backers that speak to who already integrates with Genesis’ tools on their own platforms.

Led by Accel, it also includes participation from new backers GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Salesforce Ventures, in addition to existing investors Citi, Illuminate Financial and Tribeca Venture Partners, who also invested in this round. To give you an idea of who it works with, Citi, along with ING, London Clearing House, and XP Investments, are some of Genesis customers.

Originally conceived in 2012 in Brazil by a pair of British co-founders — Stephen Murphy (CEO) and James Harrison (CTO), who cut their teeth in the world of investment banking — Genesis had raised less than $5 million before this round, mostly bootstrapping its business and leaning on Murphy and Harrison’s existing relationships in the world of finance to grow its customer base.

Today, Murphy lives in and leads the business from Miami — where he moved from New York just as the Covid-19 pandemic was starting to gain steam last year — while James Harrison (CTO) leads part of the team based out of the UK.

As you might imagine with so little funding before now for a company going on nine years old, Genesis was doing fine financially before this Series B, so the plan is to use the funding specifically to grow faster than it could have on its own steam. The startup is not disclosing its valuation with this round.

“We were not really fixated on valuation,” said Murphy in an interview, who said the funding came about after a number of VCs had approached the startup. “The most important thing is the future opportunity and where we could take the company with additional funding… this will help us hyper scale up.” He did note that the term sheets contained “some amazing numbers and multiples,” given the current interest in no-code and low-code technology.

Indeed, the vogue for no-code and low-code tech — other well-funded names in the crowded space include startups like Zapier, Airtable, Rows, Gyana, Bryter, Ushur, Creatio, and EasySend, as well as significant launches from Google and Microsoft and other bigger players — is coming out of two trends colliding.

On one side, we’ve well and truly entered an era in enterprise technology — with the same trend playing out in consumer tech, too — where smart developers are taking sophisticated and complex services and putting “wrappers” around them by way of APIs and simpler (low- or no-code) interfaces, so that those sophisticated tools can in turn be integrated and implemented in more places. This saves needing to build or integrate that complexity from scratch and expands access to the processes within those wrappers.

On the other side, the thirst for tech knowledge has become well and truly mainstream and as a result getting far more democratized. Working in a variety of applications, using different digital tools and devices, and seeing the fruits of tech pay off are all second nature to today’s working world — whether or not you are a technologist. So it’s no surprise to see more proactive, non-technical people looking for more ways to get their hands on these tools themselves.

“You now have a whole citizen developer world, for example business analysts who understand the solution you want but might not know how to get there,” Murphy said. “We play to seasoned developers first but the investment will help us put more low code and no code tools into place to widen the tools out to them.”

Starting out in finance made sense not just because that was where the two founders had previously worked, but also because of the history of how different software tools were already being used. Specifically, he noted that the ubiquity of microservices — which themselves are collections of services as apps — laid the groundwork for more low-code. “We saw that if we could build a low-code entry point to microservices, that would be powerful.”

On top of that, investment banks, he said, have a history of wanting to build things themselves to tailor to their specific needs. “Buying off the shelf means you are at the mercy of the vendor,” he said. These factors made financial services companies very receptive to what Genesis was offering.

While a lot of the no/low-code players are coming at the concept with specific verticals in mind — no surprise, since different verticals have very specific use cases and needs — so what’s interesting with Genesis is how the company is leveraging what it already knows about finance, and then looking at other industries that have similar demands, structures and rules.

Murphy said that Genesis will stay “very focused on financial markets for 2021” but that it’s identified a number of other verticals similar to it, and is actually already seeing some inbound interest from them.

“A number of people have already approached us from the world of healthcare,” he said, pointing out that these organizations, like financial services, face challenges around how to audit data and regulations around performing transactions. Manufacturing, meanwhile, has some parallels around the area of complex event processing similar to equity algorithmic trading, he said. (In short, this relates to how external events might trigger more transactions, not unlike how external factors affect manufacturing operations.)

The trend is one that analysts forecast will only grow in the coming years: Gartner, for example, says that by 2024, low-code platforms will account for no less than 65% of all app development activity.

“Low-code promises business users the autonomy to make their own technology usage and purchase decisions while enabling them to actually build their own applications without having to rely on IT,” said Andrei Brasoveanu, a partner at Accel, said n a statement. “By bringing one of the most transformative innovations in software development to financial services, Steve and the Genesis team are taking on a huge market of legacy vendors – and winning too – while delivering on the promise of low-code. The confidence they’ve gained from serving such large institutions is proof that there’s a real and urgent need for a purpose-built low-code solution for financial markets. We’re excited to partner with Genesis and support them in delivering this across the world.” Brasoveanu is joining the startup’s board with this round.


By Ingrid Lunden

Customer experience startup Sprinklr files confidential S-1 with SEC

Sprinklr, a New York-based customer experience company, announced today it has filed a confidential S-1 ahead of a possible IPO.

“Sprinklr today announced that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) relating to the proposed initial public offering of its common stock,” the company said in a statement.

It also indicated that it will determine the exact number of shares and the price range at a later point after it receives approval from the SEC to go public.

The company most recently raised $200 million on a $2.7 billion valuation last year. It was its first fundraise in 4 years. At the time, founder and CEO Ragy Thomas said his company expected to end 2020 with $400 million in ARR, certainly a healthy number on which to embark as a public company.

He also said that Sprinklr’s next fundraise would be an IPO, making him true to his word. “I’ve been public about the pathway around this, and the path is that the next financial milestone will be an IPO,” he told me at the time of the $200 million round. He said that with COVID, it probably was a year or so away, but the timing appears to have sped up.

Sprinklr sees customer experience management as a natural extension of CRM, and as such a huge market potentially worth a $100 billion, according to Thomas. But he also admitted that he was up against some big competitors like Salesforce and Adobe, helping explain why he fundraised last year.

Sprinklr was founded in 2009 with a focus on social media listening, but it announced a hard push into customer experience in 2017 when it added marketing, advertising, research, customer and e-commerce to its social efforts.

The company has raised $585 million to-date, and has also been highly acquisitive buying 11 companies along the way as it added functionality to the base platform, according to Crunchbase data.


By Ron Miller

ServiceNow adds new no-code capabilities

As we’ve made our way through this pandemic, it has forced businesses to rethink and accelerate trends. One such trend is the movement to no-code tools to allow line-of-business users to create apps and workflows without engineering help. To help answer that demand, ServiceNow released a couple of new tools today as part of their latest release.

Dave Wright, the chief innovation officer at ServiceNow, says that COVID has forced more teams to work in a distributed fashion, and that has in turn has advanced the idea of putting software building into the hands of every employee.

“So because people haven’t had the same support networks and are distributed, you need to be able to produce software that has a consumer grade feel to it. And if you could get that in place, then you can get people to use the system. If you get people to use the system, then you start to get better employee productivity and employee engagement,” Wright explained.

This has typically revolved around the three main areas of focus on the ServiceNow platform — customer service, IT and HR — but in order to step outside those three categories, the company has decided to develop a new area called Creator Workflows, which are designed to help workers build new workflows suited to their needs.

Low code/no code is hot

The company has come up with a couple of new tools to help these Creators: AppEngine Studio and AppEngine Templates, which work together to help these folks build these no-code workflows wherever they work across an organization.

AppEngine studio provides the main development environment where users can drag and drop the components they need to build workflows that make sense for them. The templates take that ease of use a step further by providing a framework for some common tasks.

The new release also incorporates a couple of recent acquisitions: Loom Systems and Attivio. The company has taken the latter and repurposed it to be a platform-wide search tool called AI Search.

“It allows you to deliver contextualized consumer grade results. So it means that we can personalize the results that you get from a search back to you so that it’s more relevant to you and more focused on giving you that context that you really need to make sure you get actionable information,” he said.

Another company that they purchased was Loom Systems, which gave the company an AIOps component and the ability to inject that AI across the platform. Gab Menachem, who was CEO and co-founder at Loom prior to the acquisition, says the process of becoming part of ServiceNow has been smooth.

“Vendors in this space find themselves kind of giving customers a science project. In ServiceNow the whole focus of this year has been to incorporate [Loom] into the workflow and make work flow naturally, so that employee productivity would be boosted, and the engagement will be high. And that’s what we focus on, and I think it was a really easy transition into a big company because it just made all of our customers a lot happier,” Menachem said.

This new tooling is available starting today.


By Ron Miller