March SaaSness 2017: Tournament Preview
[Voting on Wednesday’s Round 1 matchups is now live! Click here to decide who advances from the left side of our bracket.]
Welcome to the 3rd annual March SaaSness Tournament, hosted by Ambition, Qualtrics, and G2 Crowd. The SaaS industry’s answer to March Madness begins Wednesday, when 64 SaaS companies will begin competing in an NCAA Tournament-style bracket with winners decided by popular vote.
For a full overview of the 2016 March SaaSness Tournament schedule, rules and voting format, read our 2017 Tourney Introduction. Now, let’s meet this year’s competitors.
Meet the 2017 March SaaSness Field
Last year’s bracket was impressive, but it pales in comparison to the 2017 field. Here’s a look at the full 2017 Tournament Bracket.
Click image to enlarge.
Styles make fights, and we’re about to bring you a brief introduction and breakdown of each competing company and how they stack up in their 1st Round matchups.
This is your one-stop source for March SaaSness Bracketology, so hunker down, read up on our 64 competitors, and get ready for Wednesday’s festivities to begin.
Wednesday Matchups – Region 1
1) Salesforce vs. 16) Namely
Salesforce: We don’t have to introduce you to Salesforce. They’re like the Duke, Indiana, or Kentucky of SaaS. You may have zero interest in the industry, but you know Salesforce. Marc Benioff and co. were stunned by Influitive in last year’s Elite Eight. Does a similar disappointment await them in 2017? Or is a deeper run about to occur? Stay tuned.
Founded: 1999. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: CRM.
Namely: Namely returns to the 2017 tournament with a strong head of steam. Representing the Big Apple, the emergent HR, payroll and benefits platform is rapidly scaling and sitting on a freshly-acquired $30 million dollar investment round courtesy of Sequoia Capital. Ousted by Box in Round 1 of last year’s tournament, the battle-tested company faces another tough matchups versus Salesforce in Round 1 of this year’s tournament.
Founded: 2012. HQ: New York City. Conference: HR Technology.
8) SalesLoft vs. 9) Influitive
SalesLoft: SalesLoft just finished hosting its 3rd annual Rainmaker Conference and recently raised another major round of funding. The ATL-based sales acceleration company brings that momentum plus 2 years of SaaSness experience to this year’s tourney. Their 2nd Round “Battle for Atlanta” with MailChimp in the 2015 tournament was the single most thrilling matchup in the 2015 tourney. Last year, they suffered a tough Round 1 exit at the hands of Intercom. Their Round 1 bout with 2016 runner-up Influitive is one of the most anticipated matchups in this year’s tournament.
Founded: 2011. HQ: Atlanta. Conference: Sales Acceleration.
Influitive: Influitive made a legendary run in last year’s tournament, making it all the way to the Finals before falling to 2016 champion Zoom. The customer referral platform allows companies to activate their clients and transform them into referrals, warm leads and word-of-mouth inbounds. And as any SaaS marketing director will tell you, 1,000 blog posts will never equal the value you can get from 100 actively evangelical customer advocates. Their amazing 2016 run is testament to that power. Let’s see if they can repeat their success in 2017.
Founded: 2010. HQ: Toronto. Conference: Marketing Automation.
5) Tableau vs. 12) APS Payroll
Tableau: A publicly-traded company for going on 4 years now, Tableau is synonymous with the term Business Intelligence and continues to command a rare level of industry respect in the SaaS universe. Lurking north of Silicon Valley in the wet, caffeinaited confines of Seattle, Tableau is the definition of enterprise – all business, all the time. Their industry clout took them to the Sweet 16 in 2015 and 2016, where they were stopped each time by a fellow emeritus SaaS company, Dropbox and Salesforce. Will they be able to break through to the Final Four this year? We’ll find out.
Founded: 2003. HQ: Seattle. Conference: Business Intelligence.
APS Payroll: Tourney newcomer APS brings two decades of SaaS experience to the field, plus a distinguishing headquarters location in the bayous of Shreveport, Louisiana. APS’s cloud-based workforce management solutions has racked up tons of awards and recognition from the likes of G2 Crowd, Inc., BuyerZone and Business News Daily. They were one of the most-nominated companies for the 2017 field and possess heavy upset potential in their Round 1 matchup versus Tableau.
Founded: 1996. HQ: Shreveport. Conference: HR Software.
Atlassian: There’s a nice international flavor to March SaaSness – and every year, we can count on Atlassian to serve as the premiere SaaSness competitor from the other side of the world. As the purveyor of beloved business collaboration tools like Jira and HipChat, and most recently, Trello, Atlassian boasts one of the strongest, most diverse product lines of any tourney competitor year in and year out. A tough out against Evernote in the Sweet 16 derailed their tourney run in 2015 and last year, they became the first victim to fall to upset-minded Influitive in Round 1. Can they bounce back in 2017? Stay tuned.
Founded: 2002. HQ: Sydney. Conference: Collaboration.
Base: A mere 18 months removed from a $30 million Series C round, Base is continuing to hum along in its quest to unseat Salesforce as the sleeker, more user-friendly CRM of tomorrow. With over 7,000 clients that include Cisco, Stryker and Dow Chemical, Base is beginning to make inroads into the CRM market that few before it have been able to accomplish. A 2nd Round defeat at the hands of DocuSign ended their 2015 run, followed by a Round 1 exit against Zendesk in 2016. We’ll see if 2017 is the year that Base breaks through to March SaaSness’s 2nd weekend.
Founded: 2009. HQ: Mountain View, CA. Conference: CRM.
Stripe: Another household name in SaaS, you might remember Stripe as the SaaS company that earned a $3.5 Billion valuation 4 years after it was founded.The company’s valuation as of August 2016? A cool $5 billion dollars. Following a Round 2 upset in the 2015 tournament, Stripe returned to form and advanced all the way to the 2016 Final Four before falling to Zoom. Which Stripe will show up to the 2017 tournament? We’ll find out soon enough.
Founded: 2010. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Payments.
Kitedesk: Who says you can’t build a renowned SaaS company on Florida’s Gulf Coast? KiteDesk returns to March SaaSness this year hoping to improve on consecutive 1st Round dismissals by Atlassian and Import.io. Their 2017 prospects are brighter than ever, thanks to strong G2 Crowd ratings, a sales intelligence and prospecting platform perfectly situated for sales development and social selling, and one of the most active Twitter profiles of anyone in the tourney. Wednesday’s 1st Round matchup against Stripe will test how far they’ve come.
Founded: 2011. HQ: Tampa. Conference: Sales Intelligence.
DocuSign: DocuSign had an amazing run in the 2015 tournament, falling just short of victory in a Finals loss to ClearSlide. In 2016, they made another epic run to the 2016 Sweet Sixteen, before falling to InsideSales in one of the most thrilling matchups in March SaaSness history. Can DocuSign repeat past successes and make the final step to the SaaSness mountaintop? The voting public will decide.
Founded: 2003. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: eSignature.
Vidyard: Quickly becoming the go-to video marketing platform across every industry, Vidyard enters the 2017 tournament as another representative from our neighbors to the north. Ranked the #2 graduate from its Y Combinator class as well as the #5 overall startup in Canada, Vidyard should make for a viable competitor in this year’s tournament. Lots of happy users, lots of applications in today’s video-hungry marketplace. Let’s see if Vidyard can make waves in Round 1 versus DocuSign.
Founded: 2010. HQ: Kitchener, Canada. Conference: Video software.
7) ClearSlide vs. 10) InsideSales.com
Clearslide: Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 tournament champion. Slack, HubSpot and DocuSign were among those victimized by the self-proclaimed “Sliders” in our inaugural tournament. 2016? Different story, as ClearSlide was unceremoniously bounced by Okta in Round 1 of the tournament. Does ClearSlide have what it takes to make another run in 2017? We’ll find out in their tough Round 1 matchup versus fellow tournament veterans InsideSales.com.
Founded: 2009. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Sales Acceleration.
InsideSales.com: One word: Powerhouse. InsideSales is quickly becoming a monolith in the sales acceleration space, dipping its toes into everything from phone systems (PowerDialer), predictive analytics, and even a sparse gamification feature. The billion dollar juggernaut was routed in the 1st Round of 2015 by a much more inspired SalesLoft team. They returned with a vengeance in 2016, embarking on a memorable Final Four run that ended at the hands of Influitive. Will IS.com repeat its 2016 successes? To do so, they’ll have to get past fellow SaaSness veterans ClearSlide.
Founded: 2004. HQ: Provo, UT. Conference: Sales Acceleration.
Slack: The single biggest upsets in the 2015 and 2016 Tournaments saw Slack – unvarnished industry darling, paragon for every SaaS startup on the planet – unceremoniously dispatched in 2nd Round upsets by ClearSlide and InsideSales.com. Proof that anything can happen when it’s March SaaSness, a 2017 run to the Sweet Sixteen is not only unassured, it would be a first for the legendary SaaS company. This is 2nd their shot at redemption – and don’t let the seeding fool you, it begins with a tough draw against a potentially dangerous Loopio.
Founded: 2013. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Collaboration.
Loopio: Another representative of Toronto, Loopio makes its March SaaSness debut on the strength of strong nomination numbers and a stellar ranking on G2 Crowd. The content management platform helps companies respond to RFPs, RFIs and Security Questionairres in timely fashion. Will Loopio respond to the challenge of a Round 1 matchup versus Slack in the 2017 March SaaSness tournament? We’ll find out come Wednesday.
Founded: 2014. HQ: Toronto, Ontario. Conference: Marketing.
Wednesday Matchups – Region 2
Hubspot: There are a lot of companies in this tournament who can lay claim to being the biggest, baddest, most influential SaaS companies on the block. But HubSpot, as of March 2017, might have the most legitimate argument in their corner. The reach of their influence, power of their brand and precedent-setting strategies with content marketing, sales-marketing alignment, candidate screening and science-driven business strategies will resonate long into the future. They are a SaaS tentpole, a Marketing Automation force and the returning March SaaSness competitor perhaps most likely to equal and exceed its deep runs from 2015 and 2016. Is 2017 the year they break through to the Final Four? We’ll see. A Round 1 matchup with last year’s darlings, Lever, awaits.
Founded: 2006. HQ: Boston. Conference: Marketing Automation.
Lever: The 2016 March SaaSness Cinderella. First came the Round 1 stunner over Netsuite. Next, the controversial last second upset of Qualtrics – initially misreported in perhaps the most infamous moment in tournament history. Newly minted with $16 million in venture capital money, Lever is cutting edge software to solve an emerging pain point in the increasingly mercenary millennial workforce – where the stakes in the War for Talent have grown higher than ever. Thoroughly modern in its origin, design and application, Lever will look to reclaim the magic from last year’s tourney in a tough Round 1 matchup versus HubSpot.
Founded: 2012. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Recruiting.
ToutApp: Fresh off a $15 million dollar Series B round, ToutApp sprinted into the 2015 Sweet 16. Last year, the sales acceleration company wasn’t so lucky, falling to Basecamp in Round 1. Entering 2017, ToutApp’s deep pool of in-house talent has kept up the momentum in a hyper-competitive space. This isn’t a company that shies away from competition – they’ll be battle-tested and ready for a tough Round 1 matchup with HR juggernaut, Workday.
Founded: 2011. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Sales Acceleration.
Workday: The original SaaS kingpin of Human Resources. Workday rejoins the 2017 tournament as an industry stalwart, true SaaS pioneer and household name across in just about every industry. The grizzled veteran of this year’s tournament has nothing left to prove, except whether it will be able to keep up with the flock of emergent competitors invading its space. A bracing, wire-to-wire Round 2 matchup versus Marketo barely kept them out of last year’s Sweet 16. Expect their Round 1 matchup versus ToutApp to be just as tightly contested.
Founded: 2005. HQ: Pleasanton, CA. Conference: HR Technology.
Box: A 2015 Final Four team, Box emerged the sole survivor from that year’s “Region of Death” before falling to fellow heavyweight, DocuSign. In 2016, the SaaS juggernaut was blindsided in Round 2 by Influitive, who pulled the shocking upset and kept Box from a second consecutive deep March SaaSness run. What to expect in 2017? A lot. This is a company that has IPO’ed while acquiring no less than 9 other companies. It’s never a smart move to bet against Aaron Levie and company. We’ll see if they can return to form in a Round 1 matchup versus Gusto.
Founded: 2005. HQ: Los Altos, CA. Conference: Collaboration.
Gusto: Surging HR platform Gusto returns to the 2017 tournament with real potential to utterly terrorize some higher seeds over the next few weeks. Their numberst: 20,000 customers. $100 million+ in 2 mammoth investment rounds. Although they fell to Stripe in Round 1 of the 2016 tournament, Gusto remains a formidable double-digit seed worth keeping an eye on in this year’s field. Is an upset special in store for their Round 1 battle with Box? Your votes will decide come Wednesday.
Founded: 2011. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: HR Technology.
Zoom: Your reigning March SaaSness champions. A last-minute addition to the 2016 field, Zoom campaigned its way into the Field of 64 with a very exciting resume. At the forefront of video conferencing, Zoom seems poised to blaze a new trail in how companies communicate while making the world an even smaller place to do business. The sizzle and preliminary hype was backed up in spades, as Zoom launched an unforgettable run to March SaaSness history. Can they repeat as champions in 2017? Their title defense begins Wednesday with a matchup versus Workfront.
Founded: 2011. HQ: San Jose. Conference: Communications.
Workfront: The newest March SaaSness competitor from the Silicon Slopes, Workfront is one of the most tenured SaaS companies in this year’s field. Their workforce collaboration and project management software has been helping companies get things done for 16 solid years. A recent slew of success has helped Workfront acquire $88M in venture capital money over the last 5 years. Their high G2 Crowd ratings and strong overall legacy will make them a tougher-than-average Round 1 foe for reigning 2016 champions, Zoom.
Founded: 2001. HQ: Lehi, Utah. Conference: Collaboration.
6) Intacct vs. 11) Cornerstone OnDemand
Founded: 1999. HQ: San Jose. Conference: Financial Management.
Cornerstone OnDemand: A comprehensive learning and talent management platform that IPO’ed 6 years ago, Cornerstone OnDemand makes its March SaaSness tournament debut on the strength of a resume with eerily similar comparisons to Round 1 foe, Intacct. Founded way back in 1999, Cornerstone is enjoying its fourth consecutive Gartner Magic Quadrant designation as a leader in Talent Management software. Over 19.1 million employees use Cornerstone across 191 countries and 42 languages – lots of potential voters to help enable a deep tournament run for CoD in 2017.
Founded: 1999. HQ: Santa Monica, CA. Conference: HR Software.
Prezi: Another March SaaSness newcomer with a peerless industry reputation, Prezi has been disrupting the way people make presentations for almost a full decade. Now offering a SaaS-modeled business presentation platform, Prezi is poised for a potentially deep run in the 2017 tournament. Because putting an end to boring slideshow presentations everywhere is a cause everyone canl rally around, don’t be surprised to see Prezi to make some major noise in its introductory March SaaSness appearance.
Founded: 2008. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Presentations.
LeanData: Fresh off a $10M Series B round in December 2016, LeanData is a hot SaaS name looking to leverage its current momentum into a lengthy trip through the March SaaSness bracket. An all-in-one lead management and data intelligence platform for sales and marketing, LeanData also distinguished itself during the tournament nomination process, earning a substantial number of voter submissions that assured its entry in the 2017 field. If that showing was any indication, then LeanData has the stellar Cinderella potential to make a deep run in this year’s tournament.
Founded: 2012. HQ: Sunnyvale, CA. Conference: Lead Management.
Pipedrive: Pipedrive is a fan-favorite CRM for startups and SMBs whose built a following as a go-to alternative perfect for budget-minded business leaders. Pipedrive enters the 2017 tournament on the heels of a $17M Series B Round and tons of goodwill among its legions of growth-minded clientele. The SaaSness veterans suffered a tough Round 1 loss versus Tableau last year, but possess the momentum and tourney experience to make a much deeper run in 2017. A Round 1 matchup versus Gainsight awaits.
Founded: 2010. HQ: New York City. Conference: CRM.
Gainsight: Gainsight’s 360° Customer Success platform is jaw dropping in its totality of application. The potential breadth and scope of its value-adds, which range from improving customer retention, to driving client advocacy to increasing upsells is a siren song to any company that values fast, easy revenue (i.e. all of them). Last year, Gainsight had just pocketed a $50 million Series D round and rode its dizzying growth trajectory to a Round 1 upset over LogMeIn. Can Gainsight’s own customers advocate them to a deeper run in this year’s March SaaSness Tournament? Your votes will tell us the answer.
Founded: 2011. HQ: Redwood City, CA. Conference: Customer Success.
2) Simply Measured vs. 15) Front
Simply Measured: Simply Measured is the go-to social media analytics platform for the modern enterprise. A newcomer to the 2017 March SaaSness tournament, the Seattle-headquartered company needs to leverage its own social media brand to make a deep run as our second highest-seeded debut competitor. If its strong G2 Crowd review numbers are any indication, the ingredients are there for a lengthy Simply Measured romp through the tournament. First, they must get past Front in Round 1.
Founded: 2010. HQ: Seattle. Conference: Social Media.
Front: In 2015, Front shocked the world by taking down Salesforce in Round 1 of the inaugural March SaaSness Tournament. In 2016, Salesforce claimed its revenge, besting the team communication platform in a Round 1 rematch. Since then, Front has been on a roll, raising a $10M Series A round and continuing to grow its client base. Is another Round 1 shocker in store for the 2017 tournament? We’ll see come Wednesday.
Founded: 2013. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Communications.
Thursday Matchups – Region 3
Buffer: Buffer is the highest-ranked newcomer in the 2017 March SaaSness field. The company that is synonymous with social media publishing, analytics and promotion is a natural heavyweight built to wreak havoc in March SaaSness’s socially-driven tournament format. In terms of industry presence, reputation, and functionality, Buffer has all kinds of built-in advantages that could lead to a deep tournament run. We’ll see if they can back it up starting Thursday with their Round 1 matchup versus Telnyx.
Founded: 2010. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Social Media.
Telnyx: A cloud-based VoIP service that delivers carrier-quality outbound communications over the internet, Telnyx is making a name for itself as a replacement for the much-maligned Big Telecom providers and their clunky hardware. Telnyx earned a slot in this year’s tournament on the backs of a strong pre-tourney nomination turnout. Can it make the most of its March SaaSness debut and shock Buffer in Round 1? We’ll find out later this week.
Founded: 2009. HQ: Chicago. Conference: VoIP.
Cvent: An industry stalwart for going on two decades, Cvent makes its March SaaSness debut with over 12,000 customers in tow. The enterprise event management platform also has a brand-new investment (ImpactFlow) under its belt and a steady eye towards future growth. Will that be enough for Cvent to overtake Intercom in Round 1 of this year’s tournament? We will know the answer by midnight EST on Friday.
Founded: 1999. HQ: McLean, Virginia. Conference: Event Management.
Intercom: After the 2015 tournament, the SaaS world began clamoring for Intercom to gain entry in our 2016 March SaaSness field. The only company that had dozens of non-employees vehemently go-to-bat for it and decry its omission as an actual snub, Intercom validated its entry into last year’s tournament by swiftly knocking off SalesLoft before falling to DocuSign in Round 2. This year, the wildly popular communications platform returns with more momentum than ever. We’ll see if it can capitalize on its recent successes and make a deep run into the 2017 tournament.
Founded: 2011. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Communications.
Zendesk: Another SaaS IPO veteran, Zendesk began paving the way for streamlined, tech-enabled customer service a decade ago. Long-term backers Goldman Sachs, Redpoint Ventures and Matrix Partners have helped propel the company to the absolute zenith of the SaaS Customer Support space. A popular following in the 2015 tournament pushed Zendesk to the Sweet 16, where it lost a tough battle against DocuSign. A 2nd Round exit versus eventual champion Zoom ended their 2016 run earlier than expected, but they’ll once again be a tough out for any company in this year’s tournament. You’ve been warned.
Founded: 2007. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Communications.
Autopilot: Autopilot is a newcomer to March SaaSness, earning a bid thanks to strong nomination numbers and G2 Crowd reviews. The visual marketing platform is a unique player among the usual marketing automation suspects, enabling companies to set up highly tailored lead generation campaigns via its unique interface. Autpilot’s 4.7 (out of 5) User Satisfaction Score on G2 Crowd attests to its devout following. It will need to galvanize that support to generate a deep run in the 2017 tournament.
Founded: 2013. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Marketing.
Basecamp: Basecamp is a favorite software among many, many companies thanks to its user-friendly interface, customizable collaboration settings and ability to make project management a painless experience for everyone. The Chicago-based company made it all the way to the Elite Eight in last year’s tournament before falling to eventual champions, Zoom. Can Basecamp make another deep run in 2017? A Round 1 matchup with upset-minded Bizible awaits.
Founded: 1999. HQ: Chicago. Conference: Project Management.
Bizible: Bizible unifies your business on the marketing front, offering peerless marketing campaign attribution, analytics, and funnel optimization horsepower. A favorite among the account based marketing set, Bizible has the brand recognition among its industry peers to become a breakout star of the 2017 tournament. We would not bet against Bizible’s 4.9 User Satisfaction Rating on G2 Crowd. Keep an eye on this potential dark horse during its Round 1 matchup versus Basecamp.
Founded: 2011. HQ: Seattle. Conference: Marketing.
Outreach: Sales automation on steroids, Outreach is one of the most innovative companies in the sales acceleration field. They have also been on an absolute tear since their March SaaSness debut in 2015, having raised two major rounds of funding in the last 18 months. Although Outreach’s last two tournament appearances ended in Round 1, they enter 2017 as the primary beneficiaries of new seeding criteriae which earn them a 6th seed in this year’s tournament. Will they make the most of the opportunity? Their sizable number of pre-tourney nominations indicates the answer is yes. Stay tuned.
Founded: 2013. HQ: Seattle. Conference: Sales Acceleration.
BambooHR: Another March SaaSness newcomer from the Silicon Slopes, BambooHR provides small and medium-sized businesses with subscription-based Human Resources Information Management Systems (HRIS or HRMS) that afford companies with 50 to 500 employees the functionality they need to fully manage their personnel at pricing built for the budgets. Strong pre-tourney nomination numbers plus a G2 Crowd User Satisfaction Score that stands higher-than-the-tourney-average make BambooHR an intriguing new addition to this year’s tournament. It will be Seattle versus the Slopes in their Round 1 matchup versus Outreach.
Founded: 2008. HQ: Lindoln, Utah. Conference: HR Software.
Citrix: A March SaaSness newcomer that needs no introduction, Citrix predates the SaaS industry in its entirety and IPO’ed way back in the halcyon days of 1995. South Florida’s finest SaaS company is home to everyday enterprise tools like ShareFile, RightSignature, and Podio which millions of users rely on for file sharing, e-signature, and collaboration every year. Citrix has an industry pedigree to be reckoned with and will not be overlooked in this year’s March SaaSness tournament.
Founded: 1989. HQ: Fort Lauderdale, FL. Conference: Communications.
Talkdesk: The Storm Ventures-backed cloud call center software is making its second foray into March SaaSness. Last year, Talkdesk’s addition to the field came after a strong pre-Selection Sunday campaign for inclusion. They made short work of Round 1 foe BlueJeans before falling to Salesforce in the 2nd Round. For the second year in a row, the Selection Committee likes Talkdesk’s unorthodox value-adds and unique positioning within the SaaS market. Expect them to make some noise in the 2017 bracket as well.
Founded: 2011. HQ: San Franciscio. Conference: Customer Success.
7) InfusionSoft vs. 10) WebPT
InfusionSoft: A new entry to our 2017 March SaaSness field, Infusionsoft provides sales and marketing automation software for small businesses that combines CRM, email marketing and e-commerce. The Chandler, Arizona based company has built an industry reputation as an all-in-one solution for companies that want fully-integrated sales and marketing operations. InfusionSoft is also a seven-time Inc. 500/5000 company funded by Goldman Sachs, Mohr Davidow Ventures and Signal Peak Ventures. Sleep on them at your own risk. They meet Phoenix-based WebPT in a ‘Battle for Arizona’ in Round 1.
Founded: 2001. HQ: Chandler, AZ. Conference: eCommerce.
WebPT: We asked for your nominations. You made WebPT the first health-industry focused SaaS company to gain entry to March SaaSness. The web-based physical therapy EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system provides over 65,000 users with complete, easy and affordable software to manage clinical and clerical functions. In addition to the sheer volume of tournament nominations WebPT received, a strong User Satisfaction Score (4.6 out of 5) on G2 Crowd evidences the type of passionate, loyal client base needed to go far in March SaaSness. Monitor WebPT closely in this year’s tournament. A Battle for Arizona. awaits in Round 1 versus InfusionSoft.
Founded: 2006. HQ: Phoenix, AZ. Conference: Healthcare.
Evernote: A powerhouse in the organizational communication sphere. Evernote is a borderline essential tool in the minds of its users, allowing them to easily organize and share important information internally. Evernote claims elite Venture Firms like Sequoia Capital as investors and has proven itself to be a part of the SaaS industry’s very fabric. An Elite 8 loss to DocuSign ended its 2015 run, followed by a Sweet 16 upset at the hands of Influitive in 2016. This year’s path to the Final Four will be just as tough, starting with a difficult Round 1 matchup versus Birst.
Founded: 2007. HQ: Redwood City, CA. Conference: Productivity.
Birst: The world’s most advanced networked business analytics platform makes its March SaaSness debut with more than a decade of business intelligence community clout to its name. Birst’s ability to connect analytics across every sector of the enterprise with amazing granularity and flexibility makes it a standout among BI providers and an intriguing new addition to our tournament field. Will Birst have what it takes to upset perennial high-performer Evernote in 2017? You votes will decide.
Founded: 2004. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Business Intelligence.
Thursday Matchups – Region 4
1) Dropbox vs. 16) KnowledgeVision
Dropbox: Founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, Dropbox is a powerful figure in the SaaS world with legions of followers to call upon at any given matchup in this year’s tournament. Its Twitter following: in the millions. Its valuation: in the billions. Dropbox has already made runs to the Elite Eight in 2015 and the Sweet 16 in 2016. Will this be the year they break through to the Final Four? Their absurdly high Ambition Score indicates yes. Your votes will decide.
Founded: 2007. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Collaboration.
KnowledgeVision: Looking to create interactive, multi-media web presentations for your company? Then consider KnowledgeVision, one of this year’s most nominated March SaaSness competitors and first year tourney entrant. Boasting the ability to create synchronized video presentations, among other functionality, KnowledgeVision has the functionality and passionate userbase to warrant its inclusion in our 2017 tournament. Will it be able to upend perennial SaaSness juggernaut, Dropbox, in Round 1? Thursday’s voting will decide.
Founded: 2010. HQ: Concord, MA. Conference: Presentations.
Velocify: Velocify makes its March SaaSness debut on the strength of an industry-leading tenure in the sales acceleration space. Predating the vast majority of its market competitors, Velocify offers a cloud-based intelligent sales software that helps sales teams keep pace with the speed of opportunity and improve conversion rates by driving rapid lead response, increased selling discipline, improved productivity, and actionable selling insights. Can they accelerate past Datanyze into Round 2? The voting public will decide.
Founded: 2004. HQ: El Segundo, CA. Conference: Sales Acceleration.
Datanyze: The sales intelligence pioneers at Datanyze have spent the last few years achieving hyper-growth, building an industry-leading product and getting Mark Cuban and M.G. Siegler in their investment corners. Early exits in the 2015 and 2016 tournaments notwithstanding, they are a 2017 dark horse contender with high upside. Dozens of Datanyze nominations poured in during this year’s pre-tournament selection process. An intriguing Round 1 date with Velocify awaits.
Founded: 2012. HQ: San Mateo, CA. Conference: Sales Intelligence.
5) DiscoverOrg vs. 12) Greenhouse
DiscoverOrg: DiscoverOrg is another March SaaSness newcomer with strong industry bona fides and the potential to make a splash in this year’s bracket. The Vancouver-based sales and marketing intelligence leader is used by over 2,000 of the world’s fastest growing companies and has made Inc.’s 5000 fastest-growing companies list six times. Based on those data points, our intelligence sources indicate DiscoverOrg to be very capable of a deep run in this year’s tournament.
Founded: 2006. HQ: Vancouver. Conference: Sales Intelligence.
Greenhouse: Greenhouse is the preferred recruiting and onboarding platform for high-growth, millennial-driven companies. With a strong foothold in the SaaS industry (its client base includes tournament competitors like Zenefits, DocuSign and Twilio) and scorching hot organizations from all industry backgrounds (AirBnb, Pinterest, Vimeo and the Golden State Warriors), Greenhouse became one of the first SaaSness entrants from the recruiting software space. Last year, Greenhouse took down Optimizely in Round 1, then mounted a valiant Round 2 comeback attempt versus Mailchimp that fell just short. A competitor to watch in this year’s tournament.
Founded: 2012. HQ: New York City. Conference: Recruiting.
4) Constant Contact vs. 13) Infer
Constant Contact: A veteran of SaaS marketing software, Constant Contact has been providing email, social media and event marketing tools to help small businesses grow their customer base since 1998. The company IPO’ed nearly a decade ago and hasn’t slowed down since, now counting 500,000 small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and member associations among its clientele. The tournament newcomer faces Infer in an intriguing Round 1 matchup between industry veteran and young upstart.
Founded: 1998. HQ: Waltham, MA. Conference: Marketing Automation.
Infer: Infer spent the 1st 4 rounds of the 2015 March SaaSness tournament on a single mission: Giant killing. First, Marketo. Next, upset wins over LogMeIn and ToutApp. And finally, a stunning victory over Dropbox, the tourney’s #1 oversall seed. In 2016, their run ended much more abruptly – a 2nd Round loss at the hands of Tableau. Backed by SaaS heavyweights such as Redpoint Ventures and Andreesen Horowitz and famed as the top lead scoring software in the country, Infer has given us the necessary data points to do some predictive analytics about their performance in this year’s tournament: they’ll be a handful.
Founded: 2010. HQ: Palo Alto, CA. Conference: Sales Intelligence.
MuleSoft: March SaaSness newcomer Mulesoft is the SaaS platform your most treasured technology products rely on to operate successfully. Mulesoft’s flexible, unified platform connects nearly any application or system by leveraging APIs to quickly and securely share data, regardless of format or source, in application networks. This company is at the heart of the applications and services you use every day, like Netflix, Spotify and Salesforce, from Global 500 corporations to emerging companies in more than 60 countries. It has all the chops for a deep run in this year’s tournament. A Round 1 bout with Mavenlink awaits.
Founded: 2006. HQ: San Francisco. Conference: Applications.
Mavenlink: In November, Mavenlink closed a $39M Series D Round with Goldman Sachs. The workforce collaboration and data analytics platform is an end-to-end project, resource and people management application used across every industry and companies of all shapes and sizes. Can Mavenlink leverage their recent success and make a deep advancement in this year’s March SaaSness tournament? We’ll find out on soon enough, beginning with Thursday’s Round 1 matchup against MuleSoft.
Founded: 2008. HQ: Irvine, CA. Conference: Collaboration.
Marketo: Marketo’s March SaaSness history began ignomiously – with a shocking Round 1 loss to Infer in 2015. Heading into last year’s tournament, a Marketo executive approached Ambition Co-Founder Brian Trautschold at SaaStr to make sure that March SaaSness would be returning and that Marketo would have a shot at redemption. The answer to both questions – a resounding yes. Marketo advanced to the Sweet 16 in last year’s tournament where it lost a hard-fought nailbiter versus Mailchimp. Expect to see another impressive showing in this year’s tournament from the #1 Marketing Software Vendor on the INC. 500 list.
Founded: 2006. HQ: San Mateo, CA. Conference: Marketing Automation.
Terminus: The newest Atlanta-based entrant into March SaaSness, Terminus wasn’t even a year old when the 2015 tournament kicked off, but has already built a substantial following on the strength of its account-based marketing platform, which leverages retargeting, customer and prospect intelligence and deep CRM and marketing automation integrations to drive growth. Terminus was also the recipient of an abnormally high number of nominations heading into this year’s tournament, indicating major sleeper potential heading into their Round 1 matchup with Marketo.
Founded: 2014. HQ: Atlanta. Conference: Marketing.
Domo: Carrying the Business Intelligence torch for Utah’s growing SaaS empire is Domo. The 2015 Tournament saw Domo give a respectable run to the Sweet 16. Hopes for a deeper run in 2016 ended abruptly with a 2nd Round loss at the hands of Stripe. Heading into the 2017 tournament, Domo has been continuing its recent tear. The BI platform has pulled in $431M in venture capital funding since the 2015 tournament. Can they ride the recent hype to a deep tournament run? We’re about to find out.
Founded: 2010. HQ: Provo, UT. Conference: Business Intelligence.
Filemaker: Filemaker makes its March SaaSness debut as an acclaimed custom business solutions provider. The recipient of roughly 50 industry awards over the last five years (far more than any of its competitors), Filemaker has stakes its claim as an industry leader in database software, relied upon by millions of customers manage, analyze, and share information. An old school veteran with a staunch following throughout the SaaS industry, Filemaker is slated for a Round 1 matchup versus Domo that’s sure to be a barnburner.
Founded: 1998. HQ: Santa Clara, CA. Conference: Collaboration.
Mailchimp: MailChimp is the SaaS elder statesman that continues to carry itself like a hot, young upstart. The Atlanta-based marketing and email automation company has always been ahead of the curve, pioneering the type of cozy, friendly user experience that Slack would go on to perfect. They give away their (great) product to users whose email lists don’t exceed 2,000. Their reputation as a great place to work is known industry-wide. Plus, they had the foresight to sponsor Serial. MailChimp may have lost 2015’s Battle for Atlanta, but they bounced back with an Elite Eight run in 2016 and are poised to repeat that success in this year’s SaaSness campaign.
Founded: 2001. HQ: Atlanta. Conference: Marketing Automation.
Engagio: This year’s tournament preview concludes appropriately enough with the youngest company in this year’s tournemant (and first to be younger than March SaaSness itself), Engagio. The account based marketing platform built by former Marketo Co-Founder Jon Miller just raised a $22M Series B last August and has been steamrolling towards high-growth with software specifically built for enterprise-focused sales and marketing efforts. Strong early reviews and palpable industry hype make Engagio an interesting opponent in this year’s tournament. Expect lots of fireworks in their Round 1 matchup with Mailchimp.
Founded: 2015. HQ: San Mateo, CA. Conference: Marketing.
Want more information? Visit Tourney Central at ambition.com/saasness/.