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Unlock the Hidden Value of Competitive Data with Klue

Would you say your business is more, or less competitive now than a few years ago? Do you feel confident that everyone on your sales team has the most up-to-date information that will allow them to win out against the competition?

In today’s highly competitive environment, chances are, you feel less confident and less prepared than you used to. Nine out of ten executives say their business has become more competitive in the last three years. Competitive intelligence is a must-have: 95% of companies invest in their compete function.

We all know that well-informed sales and marketing teams have a much greater chance of success. Yet very little of the data that companies collect or share on competitors, competing products or strategy get to the people who need it most, when they need it most. Globalization and remote work have made a comprehensive compete driven strategy even more difficult, as teams are less coordinated and less able to share valuable competitive intelligence through traditional channels.

That is why we’re happy to announce that Salesforce Ventures has joined Tiger Global in Klue’s $62 million Series B round. Klue is an AI-powered competitive intelligence tool used by industry leaders across the board. Klue is based in Vancouver and is a signal of our continued confidence in the rapidly-expanding sales enablement technology segment.

Data, data everywhere — but where are the insights?

We all know that the amount of data available has been roughly doubling every two years — much of it unstructured. Publicly available and internally-generated competitive data and insights are no exception. This trend has been further accelerated by the increasing use of collaboration tools driven by remote work. But this also makes it challenging to get any value from it — the data spread out all over the place. It’s exhausting and expensive to try to surface valuable insights, especially using manual processes to collect data, curate intel and distribute insights.

Your teams work hard to uncover and compile competitive data — but where is it exactly, in what form? Is it up-to-date and comprehensive? Does the team in Sydney have it? How about your external sales channel partners? That new rep who just joined in Dublin?

Putting “Intelligence” into Competitive Intelligence

When we first met Jason and Klue over a year ago, we could not have been more impressed. Klue’s AI-driven insights collection and curation engine autonomously maps and surfaces critical competitive insights from over three million sources across the web and all of your internal applications / collaboration tools. Including Salesforce, Slack, Highspot and Gong, as well as email, presentations and white papers, then curating and driving key insights to your sales and marketing teams to win, defend and expand business.

Jason Smith, Klue’s CEO and Co-Founder, brings a range of relevant experience in the tech industry. He was president of Vision Critical, a customer intelligence SaaS company, and VP of sales and marketing at GAIA Custom, as well as prior co-founder of two businesses. He understood the necessity of helping sales teams move faster — especially in relation to winning deals — which led him to found Klue. Today Klue counts over 100,000 users from customers including Cisco, Workday, Shopify and Zoom. Klue was also just named a winner of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Canada!

The initial wave of sales enablement was all about improving workflows, now leaders and new entrants alike are focused on driving intelligence and automation through their solutions. Klue’s automated collection, curation and distribution of the right insights at the right time is key to driving Competitive Intelligence and the Sales Enablement industry forward. We believe this is just the beginning.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Klue to Salesforce Ventures!


Your Compliance Robot: Salesforce Ventures Invests in Drata

The best things to automate are the tedious, time-consuming things no one wants to do but everyone has to do. Taxes. Invoices. Insurance claims. Anything with the word “compliance” in it. Now imagine it’s also existential: If things go wrong, your company could lose customer trust and its public reputation. Understandably, security and data compliance is on the top of many companies’ to-do lists.

That’s why I was so intrigued when I heard about Drata, a 17-month-old company that is creating a pervasive layer of trust across the internet by helping customers automate security and compliance. “Trust is at the core of what we do,” says Drata CEO and Founder Adam Markowitz.

I’m happy to announce today that Salesforce Ventures has joined ICONIQ Growth in investing in Drata’s $100 million Series B round, joining Alkeon Capital and previous investors Cowboy Ventures, Leaders Fund, and GGV Capital. With this new financing, Drata is now officially the first $1 billion company in this new market.

Why are we so excited about this promising young company? In short, pain, scale, execution, and vision. The risk of security non-compliance is very real, very important, and rising: According to Statista, the monetary damage caused by reported cybercrime was $4.2B in 2020 — four times as much as in 2015.

Because the incidents of cybercrime and other data breaches are rising and the consequences are so severe, tech buyers at most big companies are requiring SOC 2 compliance — the current industry standard for data security — for all their software providers. That means every cloud software startup that is trying to sell into larger companies will want to get certified in order to land more customers and bring in more revenue, faster.

At his last startup, an education platform, Adam was frequently asked by potential customers to provide a SOC 2 report as evidence of the company’s security stance. “With massive data breaches happening more often, it felt as though a magnifying glass was being rightfully placed over data privacy and security, which meant companies like ours were going to need to prove early and often that they prioritize the security of their customers’ data,” he said in an interview.

More and more of our founders of Salesforce Ventures portfolio companies have told us they, too, are struggling through the process of SOC 2 compliance and are looking for ways to automate the process. And that’s precisely why Drata is growing so fast. In its first 45 days on the market, the company secured 100 customers and is on track to reach thousands next year.

The grunt work of compliance

Achieving SOC 2 certification requires tracking down hard-to-find details, sifting through old emails, taking hundreds of screenshots, and creating reams of documentation. This problem only gets harder as companies scale. Each new employee or contractor requires the addition of new security controls. And SOC 2 certification requires that not only you but also your vendors and contractors, meet compliance. Considering the fact that a typical small enterprise works with 50–100 or more vendors, the complexity is dizzying.

Getting to SOC 2 certification takes the average company 600 hours, which continues to climb as the company grows and continually needs to be renewed. It also requires hiring an expensive consulting firm to walk you through the process and give you the rubber stamp.

But with Drata, most of the manual labor is automated — including evidence collection, policy creation, and continuous security control monitoring — saving your engineers hundreds or even thousands of hours that would be better spent working on your product. Drata also integrates into more than 50 apps, infrastructure providers, identity providers, code repositories, including your CRM, HRIS, and Slack. And Drata is constantly rolling out more integrations. Additionally, the company has partnered with dozens of audit firms to make sure its product is customized to suit their needs, which drastically reduces your audit time and cost.

So many regulations, so many kinds of compliance

The world is full of rules, standards, and regulations for all sorts of industries, from tech and finance to healthcare. Drata’s first product eases the suffering of companies aiming for SOC 2 compliance. The company recently added automated compliance assistance for ISO 27001, another data security standard.

Ultimately, Drata aims to solve problems across many more governance, risk, and compliance issues. They’ve already launched their ISO 27001 product and will soon include HIPAA, PCI DSS, and more. As the company realizes its product roadmap, Drata’s addressable market will continue to grow.

At Salesforce, trust is our number one value. Drata’s mission to build a layer of trust around the modern enterprise resonates, and we’re delighted to support the company through its next wave of growth. Welcome, Drata!


Data Engineering is Making Relying on Gut Decisions A Thing of the Past

Years ago, companies were led by executives who made decisions based on “gut feel.” If that’s hard to believe, chances are pretty good that you run your business based on data — as much of it as you can get your hands on. And, chances are, the more data-centric your business, the more important it is to you that your data is accurate and can be trusted.

But there can be dozens of touchpoints between you and the original data source, and mistakes can come from anywhere in the organization. The only way to know whether you can rely on what your data is telling you is to proactively monitor the health of your data flow so you can course-correct if something goes wrong — because when it does go wrong, businesses come to an expensive, screeching halt. According to an IBM study, poor data quality costs the US economy up to $3.1 trillion yearly.

At Salesforce Ventures, we believe every single company that wants to make data-driven decisions will need an effective, proactive approach to solving this problem. That is why we are proud to announce that Salesforce Ventures is joining Accel, GGV Capital, Iconiq, and Redpoint Ventures in investing in Monte Carlo.

Digital transformation = data, data, and more data

It’s hard to overstate the massive worldwide explosion in data. More than 59 zettabytes (ZB) of data will be created, captured, copied, and consumed in the world this year, according to a Global DataSphere report from International Data Corporation. The report predicted that the amount of data created over the next three years will be more than the data created over the past 30 years.

As our personal and professional lives move online, and as businesses continue to migrate to the cloud, more and more data will be generated, stored, and analyzed — and managing it all is getting increasingly complex. Business leaders are now looking to use data to make decisions across every function in the organization. To do so, they need access to trusted data. Yet as the applications ingesting, storing, processing, and modeling data become increasingly siloed and complex, the opportunity for error grows.

If someone in the company finds an error in a report that is caused by bad data — say, only 28 days out of 30 were included in a monthly sales summary, or a customer calls to complain about incorrect data in a product dashboard — suddenly everything is in doubt. People wonder: “If this chart is wrong, what other charts are wrong?”

In the same way that New Relic, Datadog, and other performance management solutions ensure reliable software and keep downtime at bay, Monte Carlo solves the problem of broken data pipelines and data downtime — periods of time when data is missing, inaccurate, or otherwise erroneous.

Monte Carlo tracks and observes data as it progresses throughout its life cycle, using machine learning to analyze the data, ensure that quality is up to par, and track relationships between data assets. Their system proactively identifies data downtime and notifies those who need to know, while also making it easier for non-engineers to get answers when they need them. Since its launch in 2019, Monte Carlo has helped data teams reduce infrastructure costs by 3X, save 120 hours per week and decrease the number of data incidents by 90%.

Data as a competitive advantage

Monte Carlo’s mission is to accelerate the world’s adoption of data. Making sure data can be trusted is a core brand promise. Its customers include a number of companies for which data is a competitive advantage and data integrity is existential, such as Affirm, Fox, Intuit, Nerdwallet, PagerDuty, and Vimeo.

The company’s founders each came from leading software companies where data is used as a competitive advantage. Their expertise comes together in a unique way to solve a growing problem they each personally experienced around monitoring valuable data flows. Barr Moses, Co-founder, and CEO was previously VP Customer Operations at Gainsight, where she built the company’s first data team; Lior Gavish, Co-founder, and CTO was formerly SVP Engineering at Barracuda, where he built fraud detection systems powered by data, machine learning, and analytics.

“In 2021, it’s not enough to use data to drive accurate decision making; you need to trust it, too. If you’ve been on the receiving end of bad data, you understand the pain: lost revenue, wasted time, and most importantly, lost confidence,” says Moses. “Monte Carlo enables teams to stop bad data before it impacts the business.”

“As companies become more data-driven, it’s fundamental that organizations not only understand the health of their data but also have the data observability necessary to trust it from end to end,” says Gavish.

The data management landscape is ripe for disruption. Solutions abound to help companies manage where data comes from, where it goes, how it moves around, how it gets prepared and how it gets used. At Salesforce Ventures, we are bullish on companies that solve data problems. We hope you will join us in welcoming Monte Carlo, and if you are building something in this space, we hope to hear from you.


The Secret to Creating the Next Big Thing on the Web, Fast: Vercel

When 2020 forced much of the world’s work, school, communication, and entertainment online, demand for skilled website developers kicked into high gear. Previously-IRL-only brands retooled their business models and crafted new websites, traffic at existing websites skyrocketed, and enterprises accelerated digital transformation to serve a suddenly more cloud-centric world.

Who did developers turn to to help them perform such feats? Vercel: a platform that makes it easier to design, preview, build, edit, roll out and maintain websites of all sizes. The company powers more than 90,000 active projects for more than 6,000 customers around the world, including Facebook, GitHub, Hulu, IBM, McDonald’s, Scale, and Uber.

At Salesforce Ventures, we are confident that the cloud-first movement is just beginning, and the recent growth in website development and usage will continue to accelerate. As front-end development tools continue to get easier to use, Vercel Founder and CEO, Guillermo Rauch, thinks this will open the door to more developers that are creative but perhaps less technical, breaking down barriers to creation.

We believe Vercel’s superior solution for front-end web developers will be a key enabler of the cultural and technological shift to the cloud. That is why we are joining Bedrock Capital in investing in Vercel’s $102M Series C round.

A better website = a better customer experience

Vercel is ruthlessly focused on improving every website’s mission-critical front end. “That’s where you meet your customer,” says Rauch.

The challenge? Modern websites are more than what they appear to be on the surface: They’re bogged down and slowed down by chat widgets, cookies, pop-ups, analytics, and code. You can either strip all that away and lose contact with, and insight about, your customer, or you can build your website in a way that allows you to do what you need to do while also optimizing speed. Vercel allows you to do both. “Focusing on the frontend is the most customer-obsessive way to build your products,” says Rauch.

Re-architecting web and application development

The best front-end developers are always looking to improve the user experience while improving flexibility and scalability for the website owner.

The latest approach is to use a JAMstack development architecture. This decouples the front end of a website (what the website visitor sees) from the back end (where the data lives). This makes it possible for developers to build customer-facing front ends using static pages with fixed content. This model makes websites cheaper to build, faster to load, and more secure while requiring very little maintenance.

Meanwhile, developers use APIs to connect with back-end services that can enhance and personalize pages. Vercel, which is built around its flagship platform Next.js, an open-source web-development framework, has become an emerging leader in the JAMstack category.

Our investment in Vercel demonstrates Salesforce Ventures’ ongoing commitment to developer and API-first companies, including Algolia, Auth0, and Contentful.

The future of website development is collaborative

Vercel’s Next.js integrates all of a company’s front-end tools and services into a single workflow, empowering developers to collaborate and test against real web pages. In one click developers can deploy to the Vercel global edge network and scale dynamically to millions of pages. With Vercel providing automated back-end development, customers see an increase in collaboration between developers and other teams, such as product and marketing.

Vercel and Next.js have gained strong momentum; since October 2020, Next.js open-source contributors have grown to more than 1,600, driving downloads on NPM from 4.1 million to 6.2 million. Traffic to all sites and apps on the Vercel edge network has doubled; weekly deploys have quadrupled, and the number of homepages among the 10,000 largest websites in the world using Next.js has grown by 50%.

Guillermo Rauch: An open-source creator and visionary with a track record of entrepreneurial success

Vercel Founder and CEO Guillermo Rauch’s vision and leadership have helped Vercel create a passionate and growing global developer community. Originally from Argentina, Rauch created several popular Node.JS open-source libraries, including, mongoose, and slackin, and he was a core developer of the MooTools front-end toolkit. He was also CTO and co-founder of LearnBoost and Cloudup (acquired by Automattic in 2013). His unique background of building both private and open-source companies places him at an advantage as he continues to build out Vercel around Next.js.

Rauch may be a gifted developer and experienced entrepreneur, but his obsession with improving the end-user experience is what truly sets him apart. As investors, we believe that focus will be a major driver of Vercel’s success; as consumers, we’re looking forward to enjoying the web a little bit more.

Please join us in welcoming Vercel to the Salesforce Ventures portfolio!


Monday is our Favorite Day: Salesforce Ventures Invests in the New, More Flexible Workspace

The challenges and constraints of the past year have redefined work, accelerated digital transformation, and led to an urgent call to action for new technology solutions. As workers increasingly worked from home, teams had to find new ways to communicate and stay productive — all while adjusting to constant and unpredictable change.

Technology tools such as Zoom and Slack became mission-critical because they enabled synchronous communication at a distance. hit their stride offering an asynchronous software platform to manage workflows using no code. has called their platform, and this new category of software, a “Work OS.”

More broadly, workflow automation is key. In its recent “Trends in Workflow Automation” report, Salesforce found that 95% of IT and engineering leaders are prioritizing workflow automation. A Keybanc study found that 67% of CIOs say collaboration is their #1 budget priority.

We couldn’t agree more, which is why Salesforce Ventures has made a $75 million private placement investment in, concurrent with its IPO. This is a continuation of our strategy of investing in collaboration tools that enable any organization or team whether at the office, remote or hybrid to be highly productive, and in low code/no code software programs that democratize access to technology.

Born for this moment co-founder and co-CEO Roy Mann was a senior executive at Wix as he built a tool to help people in different departments manage their projects. He, together with his co-founder Eran Zinman, launched monday in 2014 with the core mission: “To give our customers the power to create their own work software…and give them the same abilities once reserved for software creators and designers.” was doing well before the pandemic, but with shutdowns and remote work, its tools have become even more critical. The company’s growth is both a signal and a remedy: it shows us that the concept of “the workplace” has been irrevocably altered, from a physical office to a cloud-based, unified workspace, and it offers us a way to embrace that change.

Unleashing innovation

No code/low code software products like make it possible for non-technical workers to create their own custom building blocks to manage their workflow without the need for a developer. Given the shortage of programmers who can build software from scratch, as well as the time and cost of such endeavors, companies of all sizes are drawn to the productivity boost and potential of no code/low code software.

This new generation of tools offers a vision for an optimistic future in which everyone has access to simple tools that enable them to create whatever they need to work better. Democratizing technology in this way can lead to an acceleration of innovation and the introduction of amazing new technologies we would never have seen otherwise.

Our investment in is Salesforce Ventures’ latest foray into the no code/low code movement. Among our investments: AirKit, a low-code platform for hyper-personalized, end-to-end customer journeys; Genesis, a low-code software platform purpose-built for financial markets; Gong enables sales reps to reduce manual entry and automate sales processes through software; Process Street: enabling teams to build operating procedures, checklists and workflows; and low-code sales commission software Spiff, with intuitive UI and real-time visibility into commissions calculations.

Software everyone wants

The key to making productivity software for this new era is to make sure it is so simple and intuitive that new users don’t need training. The C-Suite is not always the primary decision maker anymore, buying a suite of products and requiring employees to use it. Individual employees are discovering software and trying it out for themselves.’s user experience and design are so smooth people actually want to use it — and since it’s a collaboration tool when one person tries it, they invite two teammates, who invite two teammates, and… you get the idea.

Such is the promise and challenge of product-led growth. Adoption is a flywheel, starting with smoothly onboarding the first user or team at an organization. With hyper-targeted marketing, reaching that first team member is easier than ever. The customer journey is tailored to each individual, starting from their search on Google. monday’s platform enables them to derive value by offering customized and department-specific landing pages, templates, pre-built integrations, and more. With this viral growth, is now seeing increasing interest at the enterprise level to implement the solution across an organization, organically working its way up to the C-suite.

One of the unique selling propositions of is its flexibility. Customers use the platform for a wide range of use cases from marketing and operations to project management. The term “Work OS” makes a lot of sense. supports more than 100 integrations with other software products, including email, Slack and Salesforce, so users start and complete integrated workflows on their platform providing a single source of truth.

Congratulations,, on your IPO and welcome to the Salesforce Ventures portfolio!

Footnote: information is based on company and public information.


Class is in Session

If you have a seven-year-old who can’t engage with a talking head on a screen for more than seven minutes at a time or a teenager who should be learning the Pythagorean theorem but can’t ignore the lure of TikTok dance videos, you feel the pain of what it’s like to learn at a distance. Now imagine you’re the teacher — struggling to connect, teach and inspire 30 checked-out students who appear to you only as digitally-rendered faces or empty black squares on your laptop.

Education’s rush to digital transformation

Of all the digital transformations the world undertook this past year, the one faced by the education industry might have been one of the more challenging. Much of that is due to the fact that the switch from in-person to distance learning came about both rapidly and unexpectedly. In short order, teachers, school administrators, parents, and companies were forced to cobble together whatever they could find. And because the education and technology industries had no time to develop solutions around this specific use case, most of the products teachers ended up using were not meant for learning. Privately and publicly, teachers and students around the world have been crying out for learning tools that are designed around their specific needs.

Such overwhelming demand is what led us to invest in Class Technologies, which provides much-needed solutions for teachers and students in virtual and hybrid classrooms. Salesforce Ventures’ investment is an extension to the Series A investment from Insight and Owl, which the company announced in January.

Remote and hybrid are here to stay

While many were excited and relieved to see the wide rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and a way out of forced virtual learning, others see the beginning of a permanent, long-term trend. The vaccines, after all, have not yet been approved for use in children under 16. Moreover, many people who moved during lockdown don’t plan to return. As a result, many employers and schools plan to continue to offer some form of hybrid and/or distance work and learning.

After the pandemic is over, Pedro Martinez, Superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District, told Edweek he expects 70% of his district’s students to return to physical school; the remaining 30% will study remotely. All this is driving an ongoing need for asynchronous and synchronous online tools to facilitate the modern classroom.

Prior to founding Class, Michael Chasen, its CEO, was Co-founder and CEO of Blackboard Inc., a learning management software company that serves more than 20,000 institutions and 20 million teachers and learners in 70 countries. His years of experience selling to K-12 and higher-ed schools and managing their long, often bureaucratic, sales cycles gives Class a massive advantage over the competition.

Custom Zoom for classrooms? An easy “Yes!”

Chasen had an important insight that led to Class: 2020 was a watershed for Zoom, the best-in-class video conferencing solution. Whether they were teams of far-flung designers collaborating on a project, or grandparents catching up with their extended family, it seemed the whole world was using Zoom as a way to connect when they couldn’t be together in person. Chasen recognized that educators were already comfortable with Zoom but that they had specific requirements for which Zoom had not originally been designed, so he built Class on Zoom’s technology platform.

Class Technologies’ software, which is currently in beta, was intentionally designed to enhance the student experience and increase engagement. It helps teachers by automatically running attendance and ID verification; assists with participation-tracking, co-teaching and private breakout rooms; and even manages assignments and proctors exams. Expecting that more classrooms will go “hybrid” in the future, Class made it possible for students at home and in the classroom to see each other and learn at the same time.

The gap between what teachers can offer in a physical classroom and what they can do today in a virtual classroom is a wide-open opportunity for companies like Class Technologies.

While Class was built to empower teachers and students in the virtual classroom, the technology could have broad applicability across other sectors. Enterprises face pressure to provide high-quality training in order to retain, develop and prepare a workforce for a technologically- advancing world. Accelerated digitization and the new, likely permanent, shift to remote and hybrid work is driving the further need for online employee upskilling and reskilling. Companies could also use the application to improve digital sales and customer support calls.

Salesforce and Salesforce Ventures are big believers in the future of education and lifelong learning. The past year has clearly accelerated the need for next-gen education platforms and we expect demand to continue to grow. 


STORD Delivers the Goods

For six stressful days, the world held its breath as engineers and other workers tried to free a beached container ship longer than the Eiffel tower is tall — and the tens of billions of dollars worth of goods idling behind it — from the banks of the Suez Canal. This came, of course, after a frustrating year of costly, unpredictable production and distribution delays due to COVID-19 closures and travel restrictions.

It’s fair to say that, for too long, we’ve taken for granted the health and flexibility of our fragile global supply chain. And, we’re overtaxing it: The hyper-competitive pace of Amazon, Walmart and other online retailing giants have set nearly impossible expectations; suddenly everyone wants everything overnight — and not just consumers. Enterprises used to accept shipments a few weeks after ordering; now many of them are demanding delivery in just a few days.

Keeping track of all the moving parts of an enterprise’s far-flung supply chain, as well as making real-time adjustments in a fast-paced, global economy, is impossible without coordination and technology. That is why we are so enthusiastic about our investment in STORD, a logistics network and cloud-based supply chain for companies such as Dollar General, Schneider Electric and Tyson Foods. Salesforce Ventures joined BOND, Lineage Logistics and Founders Fund in a $65 million Series C round.

Driven by competitive necessity, companies are racing to figure out how to get their product from point A, their warehouse, to point Z, the customer — with Amazon Prime-like agility and speed. Along the way, they need to update their inventory records, determine the product’s location and timeline, make sure to invoice the customer at the right time, and so much more. This complex spider web of connections requires wrangling dozens of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) from multiple third-party logistics providers, and often Order Management Systems (OMS), Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPs) systems, to name a few. Given this, not surprisingly, the global supply chain management market is expected to more than double in size this decade, to over $37 billion in 2027, according to Statista.

Each step across the supply chain requires yet another software program, most of which don’t communicate with one another. In fact, in many cases, corporations have to hire people to pull data manually from one software system and match it up with another. STORD founder and CEO, Sean Henry, had first-hand experience in the fragmented auto parts industry and knew the problem well. He had a vision: to build the cloud and network infrastructure of physical distribution.

STORD integrates corporations’ internal warehousing, fulfillment and inventory software, as well as whatever software their third-party providers use for managing shipping and distribution. The company collects, normalizes and stores data, in order to provide a single view of a corporations’ distribution network through one software platform. Now, each STORD customer can have full visibility into its entire supply chain, from what’s on the shelf in its warehouse, to seeing a specific item in transit all the way through to the last mile of delivery.

With more control over their supply chain, STORD customers save time and money, but, more importantly, they are equipped with tools needed to compete in a hyper-competitive, omni-channel market with next-gen expectations.

Please join us in welcoming STORD to the Salesforce Ventures portfolio!


Hopin and The Coming of Age of European Tech

Earlier today, Hopin announced its $400M Series C at a $5.65BN valuation, just over a year after closing its Series A, bringing its total funding to over $550M. This is a remarkable achievement for such a young company and a testament to the team’s relentless execution over the last two years. In just a short amount of time, Hopin has added 80,000 organizations to the platform while scaling from 6 to 400 employees. The company has grown its ARR to north of $70M from launch in March 2020, making them one of the fastest-growing software companies ever — incredible!

When Johnny Boufarhat started Hopin, he dreamed of a future where location simply did not matter and attendees could experience engaging online events from anywhere and everywhere. He wanted to upend an old way of doing things and reimagined the future. Visionary founders can often see ahead of the bend, and in Johnny’s case, he started Hopin before anyone even knew what COVID-19 was.

When we invested in their Series A last summer, Johnny’s sense of clarity and purpose shone through. As a VC, those are rare moments where vision and opportunity collide. Since our investment, we have been continuously blown away by Johnny’s rare combination of tenacity, humility, and grit. He has also assembled a world-class team around him, as they continue to build on the company’s vision. We’ve also been thrilled to help bring Salesforce as a Hopin customer across numerous parts of our business and to also facilitate a product partnership conversation across the two platforms.

Importantly, despite all the success Hopin has had so far, the business is only just getting started. Johnny’s vision is to reinvent not only events, but online experiences more broadly, and we’re so excited for what the future holds for the company and our continued partnership together.

Taking a step back, this represents yet another inflection point for European tech. I can still remember a time when starting a company in Europe was seen as a disadvantage. It was unthinkable back then that one of the world’s fastest-growing software companies ever would come from Europe. Not anymore.

We’ve come a long way since then. Companies like Anaplan, Elastic, and Adyen have shown the extent of what is possible, and in many ways, Hopin is a preview of the sorts of success we can expect to see out of Europe in the coming years. With access to funding, global talent, and a thriving ecosystem, it’s one of the most exciting times to build an enduring software business out of Europe. We’re no longer only tracking how many $1BN+ companies there are in Europe, but rather how many $10BN+ and $50BN+ companies we have.

What’s more, last year really leveled the playing field for entrepreneurs outside Silicon Valley, despite the challenges that COVID-19 presented. In Hopin’s case, what started as a UK business has now flourished as a global company with incredible talent across 42 countries.

At Salesforce Ventures, we’ve long believed that great companies can come from anywhere. We look forward to continuing to back these amazing entrepreneurs across all of Europe and beyond.


The Coach is In.

How are you feeling right now? Burned out? Exhausted? Unmotivated? If you’re like millions of other adults around the world right now, you may also be feeling disconnected from your workplace, isolated from your peers, and adrift in your career.

We can certainly blame some of our negative feelings on the physical, economic, and emotional toll of the past year, but even in non-pandemic times, we crave meaningful connections with our colleagues, as well as aspirational-yet-achievable challenges and opportunities for improvement and growth. And as our work lives and our home lives become more intertwined, it is increasingly important that we derive a sense of belonging and purpose from our jobs — particularly for the up-and-coming generation of workers.

When we don’t feel great about ourselves or our work, our employers feel it, too. One study puts the annual cost of stress at $300 billion. Another says businesses lose up to $500 billion when their employees are “checked out.”

BetterUp wants to help. The BetterUp platform supports employees’ personal and professional growth through mobile-based coaching. It combines behavioral science, AI technology, and human interaction to support a person’s whole self, and provides interactive professional development content, analytics, and real-time insights to track employee progress.

Salesforce has worked with BetterUp for the past three years to help cultivate our future leaders. “As companies continue to work from home, the role of the manager has grown considerably. They’re no longer just responsible for work and productivity — they’re also keeping company culture alive and serving as a lifeline to employees as they navigate the challenges of remote work,” said Angela McKenna, Senior Vice President of Talent Experience at Salesforce. “Their partnership has been particularly important over the past year in supporting our managers during this time of tremendous change — and helping their teams thrive.”

After witnessing the transformative impact of BetterUp firsthand, we’re excited to share that Salesforce Ventures is enthusiastically investing in the company’s Series D, in partnership with ICONIQ Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Threshold Ventures, and Sapphire Ventures, among others.

BetterUp has built the world’s largest coaching network; more than 2,000 BetterUp coaches serve the employees of more than 300 organizations, including Hilton, Chevron, and NASA.

Legacy consulting firms have offered in-person executive-level coaching services for some time, but a number of societal and tech trends have come together to make this the right time for a scalable, mobile-based approach and the democratization of coaching.

Employees are increasingly seeking purpose in their careers, and employers are tasked with finding ways to inspire their employees at work. Conversations around “growth mindset” have led to a broad acceptance of seeking help to learn new skills. Employees crave human engagement. There is a growing desire to receive feedback frequently. As video conferencing technology has improved and mobile adoption has become ubiquitous, accessing coaches virtually has become not only viable but even, in some cases, preferred. As the bar for setting up interactions has gone down, engagement has gone up.

The business case for providing employees — not just executives — with systematized coaching and mentorship is clear. According to a Gallup study this past fall, 64% of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. “Employee engagement is an even stronger predictor of performance during tough times,” said Jim Harter, PhD., a chief scientist at Gallup. His report concluded that business/work units that score in the top half on employee engagement double their odds of success compared with those that scored in the bottom half.

BetterUp has found similar results: A combination of coaching, counseling, and mental health support improves psychological and emotional health and leads to a 77% reduction in stress and a 35% decrease in burnout. The company says organizations that improved the most in resilience saw three times higher year-over-year revenue growth.

That’s why we’re excited to partner with BetterUp on their journey to drive transformational and lasting behavior change and inspire professionals everywhere to pursue their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion.


When COVID-19 Forced the World to Go Remote, it Put the Agility and Resiliency of Global Supply Chains to the Test

In early 2020, Formlabs was one of the first companies to get hit with unwelcome news: A new virus was spreading in parts of China, leading to unexpected closures of manufacturing facilities and severely limited travel. Suddenly, the company’s suppliers based in the impacted areas could not deliver components, putting the company’s entire production of 3-D printers and related products at risk.

While other companies were stuck in the mire of stalled supply chains, Formlabs found a way out. The company had recently transitioned its manual product lifecycle management and quality management processes to the cloud with Propel. Propel enabled Formlabs to quickly onboard new suppliers to its online product portal, where suppliers could remotely access critical information about products and components, including up-to-date specs, design files, and quality control requirements. Other electronics companies were scrambling to set up remote access, tracking down outdated files, and juggling feedback over email; but Formlabs was already in production.

At a time when companies all around the world are struggling to shift production to new facilities, update designs, and meet regulations for products — all while their teams and partners are working remotely — survival depends on seamless collaboration, smooth logistics management, and rapid flexibility.

“Business continuity and resilience across the value chain are integral parts of a strong growth plan,” says Ray Hein, Propel’s co-founder and CEO. “Propel helps companies realize long term product plans while quickly adapting to changing environments and unexpected events.”

Santa Clara, California-based Propel helps companies connect the people, systems, and processes necessary to create, commercialize, and service their products. Propel’s platform aims to be the single cloud-native product solution for the entire value chain. Compared to traditional on-premise solutions that require customized code, Propel’s platform is easy to configure and 70% faster to deploy — and because it doesn’t require a team of engineers to set it up or make changes, it’s easy for product teams to manage on their own.

When Imperative Care, a medical device maker for stroke victims, was facing shelter-in-place limitations, Propel helped the company stay productive. They had to go entirely remote and they were able to continue their entire product lifecycle, including R&D and quality controls — even as they scaled both their workforce and their product portfolio. Imperative Care uses Propel as its hub for all product data, complete with dashboards, reporting, approvals, workflows, change orders, contextual collaboration and training records.

Simplisafe, a wireless home security provider that has won numerous awards for its innovative products, chose Propel before COVID-19 changed the world. Shelter in place and travel restrictions were issued just as Simplisafe was deploying Propel. But the process continued without interruption, with the deployment and employee training taking place 100% remotely. Simplisafe was even able to remotely onboard its contract manufacturer in Asia, ensuring their entire value chain could collaborate on products using Propel.

“We don’t know what the future may bring, but we know companies need to be adaptable, mobile and self-sufficient,” says Propel’s Hein. “In order to future-proof your organization, you need to be prepared to shift suppliers, go-to-market plans and service providers with very little notice, and manage all of it remotely.”

The business community has learned to be prepared for anything. As we continue to adopt more cloud-based processes and march toward more complete digital transformation, we become both stronger and more flexible in times of change. We’re inspired by Propel’s customer success stories.

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