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
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
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)
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
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)
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
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)
Business model: Subscriptions
Bragging rights: Approx. 200 customers; new partnership with American Express
Next up: Expanding into the mobile market
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)
Bragging rights:5,000 users
Next up:Deal with major national carrier to be announced in April