Bridgescale Blog

Thoughts and news about investments

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

April 20th, 2012

Proofpoint Continues Hot IPO Market up 30% at Opening

Congratulations to Proofpoint for successfully completing its IPO this morning. It’s priced above the range and up 30% at the opening.

Proofpoint Shares Open 30% Higher Post-IPO

It’s nice to see that public investors recognize the market opportunity for Proofpoint’s SaaS based secure messaging platform for the corporate enterprise. Investing in this company from incubation at MDV to follow-on investing at Bridgescale has been a wonderful experience. Congratulations to the founders, management team and all investors.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

March 5th, 2012

Bridgescale Invests in Corporate Training Application Vendor Axonify

Today we announced that Bridgescale invested in next generation teaching software company, Axonify. Axonify, formerly 17muscles, is pioneering the use of social media and gamification to corporate training. The e-learning market is a $30 billion market and it is ripe for innovation.  Currently, 40 million users log into social gaming every day. We believe a good number of these gamers are employed by some of the world’s largest corporate organizations and that they could greatly benefit from Axonify’s training.

Axonify has already penetrated some of the largest US retailers who are currently using their technology to train employees in a fun and productive way.  Axonify uses some of the most recognized research on this subject matter to focus on retention, not just training.

Bridgescale’s deep expertise in understanding next generation human resource management software makes Axonify a great fit for our investment thesis.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

February 22nd, 2012

Strong Customer and Company Momentum Marks Xactly’s 6th Consecutive Year of Record Business Performance

SAN JOSE, Calif. – February 22, 2012 – Record company and customer growth continued at Xactly Corporation for the sixth straight year, the company announced today.

In the 12 months ended January 31, 2012, Xactly grew new customers by 57 percent over the prior year. In the second half of the year alone, Xactly added more than 120 new customers. Xactly’s market-leading solution is the first cloud-based incentive calculation and commission tracking system.

Xactly’s continued customer success underlines the need for cloud solutions that can efficiently automate the management of sales incentives, while providing actionable insights to both sales reps and management. In addition to rapid new customer adoption, Xactly maintained a customer renewal rate of greater than 91 percent. Its recurring revenue grew by 31 percent over the prior year and the company finished the fiscal year with yet another cash-flow positive quarter.

Customers selecting or expanding their use of Xactly Express and Xactly Incent in Xactly’s fiscal year 2012 (FY12) include Cbeyond, Comscore, Cvent, LogRhythm, Nutanix, PayPal, Perceptive, Projectplace, OrthoFix,  Veolia, Whitehat Security and Yammer.

“Xactly’s success in the past 12 months stems in part from the continued widespread adoption of Software-as-a-service, or cloud-based solutions by larger firms,” said Christopher Cabrera, president and CEO, Xactly Corporation. “In FY12 more than ever companies with over 1,000 sales reps picked Xactly to automate their incentive processes. The incredible growth in larger customers happened even as we expanded our efforts to help small-and-medium-sized businesses get better results through more strategic incentive initiatives.”

Enabling Large Businesses to Incent for Success

Helping enterprise customers improve their performance management, Xactly continued to innovate its flagship platform – Incent. While adding a significant volume of new features and functionality, Xactly Incent maintained nearly 100 percent uptime in FY12.

In addition, the continued success of the platform led the company to split its multi-tenant instance of Xactly Incent into two separate pods in December 2011. Having two pods Xactly Incent will enable the company to better serve customers while also allowing room for continued customer growth.

Xactly introduced new or enhanced features and modules to Xactly Incent in FY12, including:

  • Xactly Sandbox: A new workspace that allows users to pre-test incentive plan changes. By pre-testing modifications, customers can insulate their businesses from risks or disruptions.
  • eDocs & Approvals: The latest version of Xactly eDocs & Approvals provides customizable workflows to automate the generating, routing, review and tracking of document approvals.
  • Xactly Territories: New features for Xactly’s territory management and credit assignment solution include easier uploads for orders, territories and dimension data.
  • Mobile and Online Enhanced mobile functionality allows sales to access their individual and team rankings from mobile devices.

Getting SMBs on the Express Way to Better Sales and Operational Efficiency

Xactly Express, the industry’s first incentive compensation management solution designed specifically for SMBs, continues to see momentous customer growth. Already, hundreds of small and emerging companies have selected Xactly Express to ease the administrative burden of managing compensation, as well as provide a competitive edge to their sales teams.

Features and innovations unlocked in FY12 include:

  • Xactly Express Plan Store: Sales compensation plan templates founded on industry-leading best practices are built into Express, providing users access to best practices so they can incent right.
  • Xactly Express for the iPad: This app enables reps to easily view their plan and performance against their plans, giving them access to performance-altering data anywhere.
  • Eased administration: New features support commission payments in 155 currencies and help split sales credit between sales reps. The latest release improved navigation, eased setup for draws and credit adjustments and added custom fields for payment rule formulas.

Company Growth Driving Global Expansion

To support its continued success and momentum, Xactly grew in nearly all facets of the business – bolstering its strong management team, while growing its overall headcount and partner ecosystem. Highlights in FY12 include:

  • International and Partner Growth: Xactly built on its partnership ecosystem, adding Zurich-based Nefos, Jerusalem-based Sana Group, Fluido in Finland, and Saleswax in Belgium to further expand into EMEA markets. A new alliance with Channelinsight provides customers with the world’s first on-demand channel sales compensation solution. Xactly also strengthened important relationships with compensation experts including Mercer and ZS Associates.
  • Expanded North American Operations: To support its rapid growth, Xactly expanded its U.S. operations, moving to a new headquarters in San Jose, Calif. and opening an office in Denver. All told, Xactly’s grew its headcount by 38 percent.
  • Bolstered Strong Management Team: The company added Christopher Newton, vice president of marketing; Ron Rasmussen, vice president of engineering; and Sam Rapp, vice president of enterprise sales to reinforce its solid management team and support its continued momentum.
  • Delivered New Customer Success Community: Xactly unveiled the Xactly Customer Success Community, a new self-service customer portal that connects customers directly to Xactly experts and fellow users for discussions about best practices and ideas, as well as provide feedback and to vote on future product enhancements.
  • Released Free Offering for Non-Profits: XactlyOne for Non-Profits, a new program offering qualified organizations free licenses to Xactly Incent and Xactly Express, helps non-profits more effectively manage how they are tracking to overall contribution goals. The company also celebrated the 7th year of its XactlyOne philanthropic program, through which Xactly staff supports community organizations.
  • Received Industry Accolades: Xactly was recognized for both outstanding company and product performance in FY12:
  • Ranked number three in The Wall Street Journal’s prestigious list of the Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies.
  • Won the 2011 Market Award for Incentive Management from CRM Magazine for the third consecutive year.
  • Named a “Hot” Vendor in the Ventana Research 2011 Value Index for Sales Performance Management.
  • Xactly CEO Christopher Cabrera named 2011 Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year by the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business.
  • Won the CRM Excellence Award from Technology Marketing Corporation’s Customer Interaction Solutions® magazine for the fourth consecutive year.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

February 7th, 2012

Ceridian Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Dayforce

Press release can be found here:

Ceridian Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Dayforce

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

December 15th, 2011 Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Rypple – First Step Toward Human Capital Management for the Social Enterprise

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

December 14th, 2011

Proofpoint, Inc. Files Registration Statement for Proposed IPO

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

December 13th, 2011

Spotify Rallies Workers With Help From Rypple

The Wall Street Journal 12.13.11, By Don Clark// A new generation of companies is learning to manage a new generation of workers, and many time-tested techniques are not a good fit. Rypple, a Toronto startup, is tackling the problem with the aid of customers like Spotify.

The London-based online music company could have just adopted Rypple’s existing Web services, which help coach employees and give them real-time feedback about their performance. Instead, Spotify asked Rypple to incorporate a more formalized management methodology called OKR, for Objectives and Key Results, which is often attributed to Intel and has been used by companies such as Google.

“It turned out they thought it was a great idea,” says Johan Persson, Spotify’s organizational manager. “Now they like it so much, they want to release it as a product.”

It’s not a first for Rypple. The startup also developed an addition to its service called Loops with help from Facebook, another major customer.

In another era, companies might have sought to keep such modifications to themselves, on the theory they could gain an edge over competitors. But many young companies have developed a philosophy that sharing some kinds of innovations brings broader benefits.

“People’s view of competition is changing,” says Daniel Debow, Rypple’s co-CEO. “Yes, some things should remain proprietary. But there’s a lot to share with each other.”

Facebook, for example, opted to publicly post specifications about its data centers, Debow notes. It’s a bit like the philosophy behind open-source software; though contributors to such programs may be giving away some of their labor, they stand to benefit as many more companies suggest improvements.

A Facebook or Spotify that suggested improvements to Rypple, for example, may subsequently benefit as others suggest new features for the service. After Rypple started working with Spotify, “we went to ten or 15 other companies to learn how to make it better, and that made it better for Spotify itself,” Debow says.

The service that was developed, called Social Goals 2.0, is being announced for use by other customers on Tuesday.

Rypple, founded in 2008, has raised $13 million from venture capitalists and angel investors that include Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, and Maynard Webb, the former chief operating officer of eBay and current chairman of LiveOps. Companies or individual departments may start with a free version of the service or can graduate to more full-featured offerings that cost $5 to $9 per user per month.

Debow and co-CEO David Stein were previously co-founders of Workbrain, an enterprise software company sold in 2007 to Infor Global Solutions for $227 million.

“We realized that the world of work was changing and the way people were being managed was fifty years old,” Debow says. “The world of software was becoming social and mobile and going to the cloud, and you had a whole new generation of people who had grown up using these tools.”

A defining trait of this new generation, Debow says, is that the tradition of employees receiving performance evaluations once a year is no longer appropriate. They want regular feedback on how they are doing, and more chances to learn and improve their skills, he says.

Rypple, among other things, allows people at companies to thank and praise other employees by posting colorful badges that are akin to those won by scouts. Managers can ask workers in a group to anonymously provide observations about how an employee is doing, and peers can also seek anomyous feedback about their own performance.

“For many people, this is the start of their careers,” says Persson, who works in the Stockholm offices of Spotify. “They want to learn as much as possible and share ideas…I have to meet that demand.”

Original article can be found here.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

December 12th, 2011

AlwaysOn Venture Summit- Dec 12-14th, Half Moon Bay

Come join me this week at the AlwaysOn- Venture Summit in Half Moon Bay. Lots of exciting presenters.  Listen to my panel where will discuss  the outlook for Venture Capital industry.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

December 12th, 2011

AlwaysOn- VentureSummit Dec 12-15th, Half Moon Bay

Come join me at the AlwaysOn- Venture Summit in Half Moon Bay this week. Lots of exciting presenters.  Listen to my panel where will discuss  the outlook for Venture Capital industry.

Rob Chaplinsky

Managing Director

October 28th, 2011

Ceridian Increases Investment in Dayforce and Announces Expanded InView Solution

Integrated Solution for Payroll, HR, Self-Service, Benefits and Workforce Management

MINNEAPOLIS & TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ceridian and Dayforce today announced a major expansion of the InView solution that will bring payroll, HR, self-service, benefits and workforce management onto a single platform, backed by Dayforce’s award-winning technology.

Overwhelmingly Successful Track Record
The integrated InView solution will build upon the overwhelming success of the workforce management solution that the companies brought to market this year. That product was roundly applauded by analysts and clients alike.

“InView Workforce Management has been a tremendous success by any measure,” said Stuart C. Harvey Jr., Ceridian CEO and president. “We set a target of 300 accounts for the first year, and we exceeded that target in the first six months and over 75 of these accounts are now live. We will now take this momentum into the broader human capital management marketplace to achieve even greater growth and success.”

Industry experts agree. According to Nucleus Research, the InView solution “is winning deals by offering a wide range of workforce management capabilities at a better value than its rivals and providing capabilities that other vendors don’t have.”

Clients have been equally enthusiastic. Pat Frees, Plant Human Resources Manager, Hoffmaster Group, Inc., described the benefits of InView by saying “it’s like comparing the Jetsons to the Flintstones.” Dave Vierthaler, Vice President, Human Resources, Hoffmaster Group, Inc., added that InView was “not only easy to install and use, but also provided us with the ability to better manage our workforce and gave us significant ROI.”

Expanding on a Winning Approach
“We spoke to our customers,” said David Ossip, CEO of Dayforce, “and they told us that they loved the new InView approach. They wanted to see the same user experience, speed and return on investment across all of their human capital management needs. So we listened.”

InView HR and Self-Service will begin to be released in the fourth quarter of 2011, with the new InView Payroll functionality to follow in the first quarter of 2012.

Strong, Seamless Partnership
Ceridian and Dayforce have been strong, natural partners from the outset.

The expanded InView solution will be supported by a unified team combining the strengths of both companies. David Ossip will lead a new organization, which will be responsible for development, implementation, support and hosting. “David and the Dayforce team have continued to exceed expectations,” said Stuart C. Harvey Jr., Ceridian CEO and president. “Based on the success of our partnership and the complementary strengths of our organizations, an expanded partnership and increased investment was a natural next step.”

“Ceridian has been a perfect partner from the outset,” said David Ossip. “We are thrilled to begin this new phase of our extraordinarily successful alliance.”