Simplifying IT for Small Business: Announcing our 1st Four Startups
In the recent past, there’s been hardly any innovation in the SMB (small to medium-sized business) sector because it’s been notoriously hard to reach. Industry expert Jeff Kaplan, Founder and Managing Director of THINKstrategies and Cloud Computing Showplace says, “SMBs have been slower to adopt SaaS/Cloud solutions than expected because they are less familiar with these alternatives and more uncomfortable with web-based services.” However, with the consumerization of the web, the SMB market is starting to understand that web based business could save them significant time, and money. Between social media advancements, and services like Mint.com, LinkedIn, Groupon, Foursquare, etc., SMBs now understand that everything can finally be done online, and as a result, the IT departments of the past are quickly evolving to support this new business. Alternatively, developers are also seeing the opportunity in the SMB market and innovating to keep up. The growth potential is huge and as Kaplan writes, “Any companies that can clearly articulate the use-case for their solutions from both a functional and financial perspective, and clearly demonstrate the ease of use of their solutions will have an enormous market opportunity.”
Here are four companies working to disrupt the SMB space who will be presenting on stage at April’s Under the Radar Conference. Companies like the four below are particularly disruptive in today’s market because as Kaplan says, “Their solutions enable SMBs to ‘level the playing field’ by providing powerful business solutions on a pay-as-you-go basis in a quicker time-to-value.” (Follow Jeff on Twitter @thinkstrategies)
Year Launched: 2011
City: San Francisco
“We’re witnessing a revolution. Businesses are rejecting traditional enterprise apps riddled by complex navigation and ugly design. They’re searching for new tools that reflect best-practices in the social web. We ease the search.” Daniel Saks, CEO, AppDirect
AppDirect offers companies a free private business application network to find, buy and manage web-based applications. It allows businesses to use and manage all their web-based applications in one simple and secure site, from anywhere. It also offers a marketplace giving businesses direct access to the latest and greatest tools.
Date and Amount of Last Funding Round: Jan 2011, $3M
Year Launched: 2010
City: New York
State: New York
Website: www.pointofsale.net and www.erply.com
“We think Erply can do for business software what Skype did for telecom: make traditionally expensive business applications more affordable for smaller companies.” – PointOfSale.net (ERPLY)
Point of Sale Inc. (Erply in USA) is an enterprise software company focusing on cloud based retail and point-of-sale technology. It won the Seedcamp funding competition in London in 2009 and was called “the Skype of business software” by emerging technology blog TechCrunch the same year. The company provides elaborate inventory management, point-of-sale and sales management software that would normally be out of reach for small-to medium-sized businesses. The company is already profitable and has been swiftly acquiring a large client base. Its business model has been compared to those of open source software providers Zimbra and MySQL.
Date and Amount of Last Funding Round: 2M $ / 2010 March
Year Launched: 2010
“Point Of Sale systems should be simple & easy to use, with strong emphasis on the user experience. Retailers shouldn’t be burdened with complex IT systems that require support and training. We make POS systems cheaper and more accessible.” – Guy Marcus, CEO, POSE
POSE is a cloud based Point of Sale (POS) system for small to medium sized businesses. To get started, all that is required is a computer and internet connection. Businesses can easily manage inventory, clients, receipts, and orders, from Pose’s simple and friendly interface. Users can access their information from anywhere, any time. POSE provides an array of integrated marketing tools such as: a full featured e-commerce site, CRM with a newsletter builder & distributer, member’s club, management tools, statistics tools, and more.
Year Launched: 2009
City: San Francisco
“Launch your subscription business model fast. Maintain our team’s focus on your core product, not the complexity of building and maintaining your own billing system.” -Isaac Hall, CEO, Recurly
Recurly provides subscription billing management as an easily outsourced service. Recurly can be set up in just days, and fully automates recurring billing; error-handling, dunning management, customer upgrades and downgrades and all related communications to ensure that merchants can focus on their core business rather than managing a complex billing system.
Date and Amount of Last Funding Round: $1.6M Seed, August 2010
UNDER THE RADAR: CONSUMERIZATION OF THE ENTERPRISE
April 28, 2011 | 8:00am – 6:00pm
Microsoft Conference, Mountain View, CA 94043 (Map)
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