If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.

Click to find out more

Enterprise Mobile Forum Recap – November 2014

Last week Emergence Capital hosted the second annual Enterprise Mobile Forum at Bluxome Street Winery in San Francisco. Over 100 CEOs and entrepreneurs representing all aspects of the mobile landscape attended the event.

Emergence General Partner Kevin Spain kicked off the event, sharing his vision for how mobile represents the democratization of technology.  For the last 20 years, nearly all innovation in enterprise technology has been focused on desk workers.  However, those desk workers only represent 20% of the global workforce.  With mobile, we can now address the needs of the other 80%, which represents an opportunity of over $100 billion in annual revenue.  He finished his talk by sharing the three keys to success for mobile enterprise companies: (1) Platform leverage (2) Go-to-market expertise and (3) Global orientation.

You can listen to Kevin’s keynote as a podcast and view his presentation.

Kevin Spain, General Partner, Emergence Capital

Following Kevin’s opening remarks, Shira Ovide of The Wall Street Journal interviewed Aaron Levie, founder and CEO of Box.  Aaron shared thoughts about the horizontal and vertical opportunities to build new businesses on the cloud.  Also noted not to underestimate the difficulty in building for mobile access.

Shira Ovide and Aaron Levie

Ryan Sutton-Gee, co-founder and COO of PlanGrid then spoke about mobile apps for field workers. He discussed the needs of the vast untapped market of non-desk workers who currently do not loop into traditional enterprise IT systems.  He also commented that word-of-mouth is the best source of business, so customer service is critical.

Ryan Sutton-Gee

David Barrett, founder and CEO of Expensify talked with Serena Saitto, Senior Technology Reporter at Bloomberg about his journey starting Expensify.  He commented that a major inflection point was when they used a new camera focus feature of the iPhone that enabled users to photograph receipts.  Expensify has grown through the app store and word of mouth.

David Barrett and Serena Saitto

Slack’s founder and CEO, Stewart Butterfield, spoke about blending Mobile and Web with Ari Levy, Senior Technology Reporter for CNBC Digital.  He noted that the use of Slack is binary – either 100% of a group uses it, or nobody.   The thoughtful blend of mobile and desktop has been key to Slack’s early traction.

Stewart Butterfield and Ari Levy

After lunch, Ian Shakil, co-founder and CEO of Augmedix talked with Robert Scoble about wearables at work, particularly for doctors.  He shared how Google Glass helps doctors engage with patients instead of computers.

Ian Shakil and Robert Scoble

Semil Shah, investor and author, led a panel with Kevin Gibbon of Shyp and Sara Mauskopf of Postmates about the opportunities for on-demand mobile services.  Both Sara and Kevin are starting to see a shift for on-demand services moving from consumers to enterprise.

Kevin Gibbon, Sara Mauskopf and Semil Shah

The day wrapped up with David Obrand, former Chief Customer Officer of Yammer, sharing insights on strategies for selling into the enterprise, and how to build an enterprise sales team.  He also talked about the value of freemium models.


David Obrand and Jason Green

We want to thank all of our speakers and the CEOs who spent the day learning with us.  We look forward to reviewing all the progress next fall at the 3rd annual Enterprise Mobile Forum.


Kevin Spain and the Emergence Investment Team

The Emergence Capital Team

Introducing Eversight – Industry Cloud for CPG and Retail

By Brian Jacobs, General Partner

Our most recent investment is Eversight, an Industry Cloud for consumer packaged goods (“CPG’s”) and retailers to optimize promotional spending.

Big data remains a pipedream for many companies. The promise of studying data from real customer behavior is alluring, but the reality of assembling the infrastructure, tools and talent to staff a sustained big data capability is just too much for most companies. Let’s face it: most of us only have budget for projects with immediate payback. In many industries, the real leverage from big data comes from mission critical domain-specific questions which are unique to that industry, such as default rates for credit cards, reimbursement rates in healthcare or cart abandonment for eCommerce.

The cloud enables a solution for these industry-specific requirements, and we are seeing strong adoption for vertical big data analytic solutions, delivered as a cloud service. Together with Veeva Systems, we have coined the term, “Industry Cloud” to describe companies serving this need. Industry Clouds are particularly powerful when they enable insights that can only be found by deep, specialized analysis focused on the most important industry-specific challenges. A trusted third-party cloud can help uncover these insights while enabling collaboration across channel partners. Enlisting partners allows everyone to share the costs, without compromising their independent views of the data.

Such an opportunity exists today for consumer products manufacturers and retailers who work together to better meet consumer needs with their large promotional budgets. CPG brands are fighting a multi-front war to win the hearts and minds of consumers by partnering with retailers in every market to find the right incentives that drive volume and profits. The promotions budget for CPGs is almost twice their marketing budget but the sad truth is that this budget is not managed effectively. Actual consumer behavior is fragmented across dozens of regions and retail partners, and requires a big data approach.

The founders, David Moran and Jamie Rapperport, are the perfect team to serve identify and serve this need. David spent the first 10,000 hours of his career at McKinsey learning how consumers respond to promotions and how the leading CPGs struggle to understand what consumers really value. He also served as a Global VP of Sales at Anheuser-Busch Inbev, where he led the Revenue Management efforts at the largest brewer on the planet. We have learned that no Industry Cloud can succeed without a deep, deep understanding of the specific constraints of the domain.

Jamie Rapperport brings additional experience in this domain along with entrepreneurial leadership, Silicon Valley startup DNA and acumen for large company sales and business development. Jamie founded Vendavo, the venture-backed leader in price optimization (just purchased by Francisco Partners) and has experience at a long list of successful startups, including VXtreme, WebTV, Lotus and others.

Eversight is enabling CPGs to test real consumer response to different promotions across retailer channels and geographies. Collecting data at this scale and complexity was impossible just a few years ago. By leveraging the Industry Cloud approach, Eversight allows CPGs to partner and jointly explore different offers with retailers while ensuring the integrity of each their proprietary insights and strategies.

When we met Eversight, we were excited to see the ingredients of our Industry Cloud thesis: deep domain expertise, world class startup experience, a shared big-data architecture and a clear vision of how to coordinate CPGs and Retailers to accomplish their critical joint objective. David, Jamie and the Eversight team are building an Industry Cloud by partnering with large CPGs and national retailers, and we are happy to support their efforts.

Why We Invested in Steelbrick

Why We Invested in SteelBrick

by Jason Green, General Partner

Recently we had a kick off strategy session with SteelBrick, a new Series A investment for Emergence. I walked away feeling totally energized about working with this amazing team to build a next generation SaaS leader to enable “Selling made Simple”. I want to take a moment to share why I’m so excited to be working with Founder Max Rudman, CEO Godard Abel and the entire SteelBrick team and why this was such a great fit for Emergence.

The press release on our financing: http://www.steelbrick.com/press-release-steelbrick-financing-from-emergence-capital

First, this product solves a real pain point in the market in an elegant and repeatable fashion. Configure, Price and Quoting (“CPQ”) solutions have become “standard practice” for leading sales organizations similar to how CRM and Marketing Automation became “must have” solutions. Founder Max Rudman bootstrapped the business to over 150 happy customers leveraging the Salesforce.com platform with no outside capital. The power of a scrappy, product-oriented founder who is intensely focused on customer success came through loud and clear in the many conversations we had with their delighted customers.

Second, Godard Abel and Matt Gorniak, the Founding team at BigMachines, who pioneered the CPQ space, successfully sold BigMachines to Oracle but never achieved their ultimate goal of building a public, independent company. When they discovered SteelBrick, a true SaaS CPQ solution built on the Salesforce platform, they decided to join Max and bring the band back together again to achieve their ultimate dream.

Third, they are thinking big from the start. They understand what it takes to build a market leader and Godard and his team are being incredibly thoughtful about the people he wants to recruit and the culture he wants to build. It is part of their mission to create a great place to work for hundreds and hopefully thousands of people. As an investor it simply doesn’t get any better than this, a proven product in an important emerging category, a proven team with relevent domain expertise and an opportunity to partner with them in the earliest days to build a world class team to maximize the potential of the business.

It’s an honor to work with Godard and his team — and we are incredibly excited to change the world of selling made simple together.