Zendesk expands into CRM with Base acquisition

Zendesk has mostly confined itself to customer service scenarios, but it seems that’s not enough anymore. If you want to truly know the customer behind the interaction, you need a customer system of record to go with the customer service component. To fill that need, Zendesk  announced it was acquiring Base, a startup that has raised over $50 million.

The companies did not share the purchase price, but Zendesk did report that the acquisition should not have a significant impact on revenue.

While Base  might not be as well known as Salesforce, Microsoft or Oracle in the CRM game, it has created a sophisticated sales force automation platform, complete with its own artificial intelligence underpinnings. CEO Uzi Shmilovici claimed his company’s AI could compete with its more well-heeled competitors when it was released in 2016 to provide salespeople with meaningful prescriptive advice on how to be more successful.

Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane  certainly sees the value of adding a company like Base to his platform. “We want to do for sales what Zendesk has already done for customer service: give salespeople tools built around them and the customers they serve,” he said in a statement.

If the core of customer data includes customer service, CRM and marketing, Base gives Zendesk one more of those missing components, says Brent Leary, owner at CRM Essentials, a firm that keeps close watch on this market.

“Zendesk has a great position in customer service, but now to strengthen their position with midmarket/enterprise customers looking for integrated platforms, Base adds a strong mobile sales force automation piece to their puzzle,” Leary told TechCrunch.

As he points out, we have seen HubSpot make a similar move with HubSpot Apps, while SugarCRM, which was recently sold to Accel-KKR, could be shopping too, with its new owner’s deeper pockets. “This is almost like a CRM enterprise software Hunger Games going on,” he joked. But he indicates that we should be expecting more consolidation here as these companies try to acquire missing pieces of their platforms to offer more complete solutions.

Matt Price, who previously had the title of senior vice president for product portfolio at Zendesk will lead the Base team moving forward.

Base was founded in 2009 and boasts more than 5,000 customers. It’s worth pointing out that Base was already available for sale in the company app marketplace, so there was some overlap here, but the company intends to try to move existing customers to Base, of course.

Zendesk has indicated it will continue to support all Base customers. In addition, Base’s 125 employees have been invited to join Zendesk, so there will be no blood-letting here.

OverWatchID Closes $2.5M Financing Round Led By WestWave Capital and Silicon Valley Data Capital

Cybersecurity Firm Extends Seed Round Following Strong VC Interest

Denver, Sept. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OverWatchID, a Denver-based market leader in cloud-based converged identity security solutions, today announced it has closed its seed funding round at $2.5 million, raising $4.5 million to date. The funding round was led by WestWave Capital and Silicon Valley Data Capital and included IrishAngels Ventures, OCA Ventures, Rockies Venture Club and Copper River Advisors.

“Each day, stolen credentials and privilege abuse account for millions of dollars in losses for our businesses, and the market for cloud-based converged identity security solutions has grown exponentially in the last year,” said Andy Funk, co-founder and CEO of OverWatchID. “This new investment, coupled with having WestWave Capital and Silicon Valley Data Capital as partners, allows OverWatchID to accelerate our growth and invest in continuing R&D so we can help our clients stay one step ahead of attackers.”

Since its founding in 2016, OverWatchID’s patent-pending platform has provided converged identity security solutions to Frontier Airlines, the eighth-largest carrier fleet in the country, managed service providers like Datavail and Unitas Global and many other enterprise clients. OverWatchID’s rapid, frictionless deployment has reduced subscription, implementation and administration costs by up to 80 percent when compared to legacy vendors. The company previously announced its seed round had closed in May 2018 and reopened the round following exceptionally strong interest from WestWave Capital and Silicon Valley Data Capital.

“OverWatchID is ready to disrupt the $27 billion identity security market through their holistic identity security platform specifically built for today’s cloud environments,” said Warren Weiss, managing general partner, WestWave Capital. “Amidst a crowded field of legacy stand-alone vendors focused solely on very large enterprise companies, OverWatchID has emerged as the clear leader in the identity security market. We look forward to working with the OverWatchID team as they make identity security available for companies of all sizes.”

“The identity security market is projected to be more than $35 billion by 2020, and OverWatchID’s identity security platform is well positioned to play a big role,” said Jim McLean, founder of Silicon Valley Data Capital. “We are very excited to help lead this funding round and are excited to participate in OverWatchID’s next growth phase.”

About OverWatchID:  
OverWatchID is “Identity Security ReinventedTM.” OverWatchID leverages more than 20 years of enterprise development experience in identity security and delivers a feature-rich platform that comprises privileged access management (PAM), single sign-on (SSO), multifactor authentication (MFA) and cloud access security brokering (CASB). OverWatchID’s patent-pending technology provides an assurance of security efficacy far beyond legacy PAM systems, and its rapid, frictionless deployment reduces subscription, implementation and administration costs by up to 80 percent. OverWatchID is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

 

Solovis Recognized As 2018 Top Startup

DALLAS, TEXAS – September 6, 2018 – Solovis, a multi-asset class portfolio management, analytics and reporting platform for limited partners, asset owners and allocators, today announced it has been named a Top Startup by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Top Startups ranks the most sought-after startups where professionals want to work and stay. The Top Startups methodology is fueled by a combination of LinkedIn data with an editorial lens. Rather than relying on questionnaires, it measures the behavior of over a half billion of professionals on LinkedIn focused on four core areas: employment growth, engagement, job interest, and attraction of top talent. The timeline measured was July 2017 through June 2018.

“We are excited to be recognized by LinkedIn as a 2018 Top Startup,” said Josh Smith, co-founder and CEO of Solovis. “As a company, we are committed to driving technology innovation, delivering transformational value to our clients in the institutional investing industry, and creating a challenging, fun work environment that inspires employees and attracts the top talent in our industry. It’s an exciting time to be part of Solovis.”