25 startups to watch (enterprises)

Successfactors

Question: why can’t enterprise apps be as easy to use as the latest Google mashup?

What:sell a suite of simple Web-based tools that automate important but previously paper-driven management chores – performance reviews, succession planning, and compensation. Ultimately the service helps to match employee skills with company objectives.

Question remained: Has the company created the ideal corporate tool?

Funding: $45 million (Canaan Partners, Cardinal Venture Capital, Emergence Capital, others)

Employees: Approx. 400

Founded: 2001

Business model: Subscriptions (2 million users. Its customers, which pay an annual fee of $50 per user, range from small tech companies to corporate giants like ConAgra Foods.

Bragging rights: 1,200 customers, including Wachovia, MasterCard, and Kimberly-Clark; 2 million users

Next up: Expanding into Asia and Europe; developing web services tailored to specific industries, such as health care and retail

Janrain

What: JanRain has developed a single sign-on service for multiple passwords that lets people hop freely from site to site. Business demand is expected to grow as Web 2.0 entertainment and social-networking sites proliferate.

Funding: $1 million (founders)

Employees: 11

Founded: 2006

Business model: Advertising, subscriptions

Bragging rights: 50,000 users (nearly double the number in December)

Next up: Partnerships with bigger websites; new product rollout by summer

Logoworks

What: Logoworks automates the design of logos, business cards, and stationery. Proprietary software helps Logoworks streamline the process and charge less than old-line competitors.

Funding: $16.8 million (Benchmark Capital, Highway 12, Shasta Ventures)

Employees: 120

Founded: 2001

Business model: Fee-for-service

Bragging rights: 65,000 customers to date, including Toyota and Pfizer

Next up: Selling services to small businesses through big box retailers

Reardencommerce

Rearden Commerce sells a Web-based “virtual personal assistant” application that smoothly integrates hotel and flight reservations, meetings, and other events into your daily agenda. Some 150 companies and 500,000 employees use Rearden’s software.

Funding: $100 million (American Express, Foundation Capital, Vinod Khosla, Burt McMurtry, Oak Investment Partners)

Founded: 2000

Business model: Subscriptions

Bragging rights: Approx. 200 customers; new partnership with American Express

Next up: Expanding into the mobile market

Simulscribe

What: SimulScribe transcribes voice-mail messages and shoots them to your mobile device as text or e-mail messages. Targeting corporate customers, SimulScribe will integrate the service into company voicemail systems.

Funding:$5 million (Tom Iovino, Claude and Jan Nahum)

Employees:8

Founded:2003

Business model:Subscriptions

Bragging rights:5,000 users

Next up:Deal with major national carrier to be announced in April

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