Just a few months after acquiring the pricing and quote-check software developer SteelBrick in a $5 million transaction, Godard Abel, the serial entrepreneur behind BigMachines and G2Crowd, has brought in $6.5 million in new financing from Emergence Capital Partners for his latest venture.
“I always liked the team [at BigMachines] and kept in touch,” says Emergence Capital founder and general partner — and new SteelBrick board member — Jason Green. “When [Abel] told me about the SteelBrick transaction I got very excited. They have a lot of domain expertise and a track record.”
Like BigMachines, SteelBrick provides configuring, pricing, and quoting software for salesforces, except it does so through Salesforce.com’s own development platform.
Other than SteelBrick, there wasn’t a solution that was native on the Salesforce .com hosted service, according to Abel — who assumed the chief executive position at SteelBrick. His company’s software now fills that void in the Salesforce.com suite of products.
Abel says there’s a ton of complexity around salespeople knowing what products a customer can buy from a vendor and what kinds of discounts a salesperson can offer. “Right now it’s very inefficient and SteelBrick automates all of that and does it right on top of the SalesForce platform,” says Abel.
As Emergence looks at the ways in which software as a service (or SAAS) has changed the face of enterprise computing, the firm is coming to the realization that mobile software will be the next step in the evolution of developing technology for businesses, says Green.
“Mobile does to SAAS what SAAS does to traditional enterprise software,” says Green. “There’s a huge advantage of recognizing how important that new major trend is. [New software] goes deeper into workflows and business processes to add more value.”
That’s exactly what Abel sees SteelBrick doing on the mobile platform. “This is a really interesting app because it touches on a number of different functional areas,” Abel says. “Executives know in real time when quotes [to customers] are changing and what’s going on in the process.”
SteelBrick charges $45 per month for the service per seat and has over 130 businesses currently using the software. “It’s been rolled out to thousands of users across those companies,” says Abel.
At Emergence, this kind of back-filling of the interstitial spaces between large enterprise functionalities will be the next wave of investment for the firm, according to Green. “The major functional areas have been cloudified,” he says. “Now the areas between those functionalities are going to become the next white-space.”
Photo via Flickr user Decoded Conference