Databricks grew from 600 to 3000 employees, reduced IT overhead

Databricks grew from 600 to 3000 employees, reduced IT overhead

By Belle Lin April 13, 2022

The Productiv team on a video conferencing call. The startup raised a $45 million Series C and says the pandemic accelerated its growth. 

  • Productiv raised $45 million round led by IVP to keep building its software management platform.
  • The startup grew during the pandemic, which accelerated software purchasing as workers went remote.
  • Running the Google enterprise playbook, it will focus on security and hire sales and marketing.

Founded in 2018, startup Productiv has benefited from companies’ rush to adopt software for remote working and management during the pandemic. 

The company just raised a $45 million Series C round led by IVP, with IVP contributing $32 million, as well as participation from Accel, Norwest Venture Partners, Okta Ventures, and Atlassian Ventures. The startup’s last round was a $20 million Series B in November 2019, led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from Okta Ventures and Accel, and an $8 million Series A round led by Accel just six months before that.

Taking a real-time approach to helping CIOs understand how much they’re spending on Software as a Service, or SaaS, the startup’s platform attracted more customers because companies suddenly needed new software to keep up with the last year of remote work, according to co-founder and CEO Jody Shapiro. Gartner estimates worldwide SaaS spend was $100 billion in 2020, and will grow to $138 billion by 2022. 

“The pandemic was ultimately just an accelerant for us in terms of the business, because every company was really wrestling with this question of, ‘We’ve got to make sure that our teams are still able to be productive. We’ve got to make sure people can still collaborate, even when we’re not all in the offices,” Shapiro, a veteran of Google who worked on the Google Analytics product, told Insider. 

More software spend creates a bigger problem for Productiv to solve

Steve Harrick, a general partner at IVP who is joining Productiv’s board of directors with this news, said software proliferation at companies started before the pandemic, so “the atmosphere was well-primed for Productiv.” 

“When Productiv came calling on customers, they had more SaaS licenses rather than less, the problem had gotten larger,” he told Insider, citing an IE study that found $30 billion is spent on unused software within US companies each year. “That really plays to Productiv’s return on investment and their ability to generate efficiency for their customers.”

Productiv is also part of a crop of enterprise tech companies, most prominently the video conferencing company Zoom, that have seen usage and demand spike as the pandemic forced companies to send their employees home and transition to remote work. 

Targeting mid-sized companies and larger enterprises, which use hundreds if not thousands of software applications like Salesforce and Slack, Shapiro said CIOs are still looking for comprehensive visibility into that usage and spend as the nature of work continues to change.

“Everyone now is trying to figure out how we come back to offices in some form, hybrid or whatnot. These questions are more contemporaneous than ever,” he said.

Security will be a focus moving forward

Harrick says Productiv is also focused on building out more security capabilities, especially given “security is a place where you never cut budget, and that’s a place that they’ll also be able to increase spend.”

At the moment, the product tells CIOs how employees are using SaaS applications — who’s using them, the type of license they have, when they’re set to renew, how much they cost — and Harrick said the startup pulls data from nearly 150 software vendors. 

Such visibility also puts Productiv at the intersection of security and IT as the two groups’ responsibilities increasingly merge within organizations. Shapiro said security teams use its product to determine if apps are linked up with single sign-on, and whether there’s unintended interaction outside the company.

“If you can see what you have installed on your laptop, your desktop and how it’s configured, you can also see if you’ve got open holes to the outside that could be breached,” Harrick said.

Though Shapiro says the most commonly used tool for managing software applications is spreadsheets, the company is still going head-to-head with numerous competitors like startups Zylo, Intello, and Blissfully, and overlaps with solutions from legacy providers Oracle and SAP that track procurement and manage vendors.

Running the Google enterprise playbook

With nearly 75 employees at the moment, Productiv plans to double its headcount by the end of the year. Shapiro also told Insider the company plans to use the money to hire for its sales, customer success, and marketing teams, as well as adding more features to its SaaS management platform.

Shapiro, a Google veteran, said he’s using lessons learned from building up the enterprise side of the Google Analytics business.

“It shouldn’t take six months to get an answer for things. We should have data at our fingertips in real-time. That’s what Google Analytics did really, really incredibly well. It’s something that I’ve certainly brought over,” he said.

And to continue building its momentum, Shapiro has big goals for the startup, buoyed by this latest round.

“70% of all websites run Google Analytics and we earned that market share by just always going back and focusing on the customer and understanding their needs, understanding as their needs evolved. And that’s the same thing we’re doing here at Productiv,” he said.

Sourced from CFOtech

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