TrustRadius, which is reinventing the buying process for enterprise software through crowdsourcing, today announced that it has secured $5 million in Series A financing from Mayfield Fund to scale operations. The company also said that Mayfield Fund partner, Rajeev Batra, will join its board of directors.
TrustRadius is the latest investment in Mayfield’s marketing software portfolio, which includes AgilOne, Gigya, Marketo, Moat, Newscred and Viralheat. Publicly launched in May by a serial entrepreneur renowned for introducing disruptive technology, TrustRadius provides enterprise software purchasers with authenticated, objective, peer reviews of popular solutions for managing virtually every aspect of an organization’s operations. Just as consumers use websites like Angie’s List, Yelp and Tripadvisor to get first-hand opinions from people like themselves, business technology buyers now can tap TrustRadius to get high quality, crowdsourced feedback from professional counterparts to guide their selection of mission-critical software.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Mayfield, a leading global venture capital firm with a strong record of backing companies that have changed the way the world operates and, in the process, become industry leaders – 3PAR, Marketo, Solarcity and Storsimple, to name few,” said Vinay Bhagat, Cofounder and CEO, TrustRadius. “Mayfield shares our vision which is to empower enterprise technology buyers and users everywhere in a way that will forever change the way technology is bought and sold.”
Prior to TrustRadius, Bhagat founded and was Chief Strategy Officer of Convio, widely recognized as the company that changed the way nonprofits fundraise through use of the Internet. One of the most successful technology companies to come out of Austin in the past decade, Convio went public in 2010 and was acquired last year for $325 million.
Although U.S. businesses spend nearly $3.8 trillion annually on enterprise technology and services, until now, they have had to evaluate and select solutions based on biased and/or patchy information. This include: sales pitches and marketing materials from vendors under consideration; industry analysts’ reviews, which typically profile a sub-set of potential solutions and are not based on first-hand usage of the tools; free, marketing-driven reports rife with poor content and really used as bait to capture contact information for cold sales calls; and anecdotal feedback from friends and colleagues.
Alternatively, TrustRadius gives buyers access to objective, in-depth user reviews on hundreds of marketing, business intelligence, sales, finance, HR and IT software products. Reviewers range from front-line, mid-level managers to C-level executives at all types of organizations, from start-ups to industry giants such as Dell and American Red Cross. The reviews also cover implementation and usage to help buyers maximize their return on investment.
With the Mayfield funding, TrustRadius plans to add staff, increase membership, expand its base of reviews and other content, and develop new features that deliver even more value to the company’s fast-growing community.
“In today’s day and age, would you buy a car or go on vacation without reading honest, detailed reviews? What about software for your business?” said Mayfield Fund’s Batra. “We are excited to partner with Vinay and his team to help address this simple but very fundamental need. Software, big data and content are already transforming the marketing landscape and enabling a new generation of marketers to connect with their consumers in an authentic and highly personal manner. Now, TrustRadius is emerging as the definitive community that will disrupt how businesses buy enterprise software and IT products.”
TrustRadius is superior to competitive products because it offers:
- In-depth, structured reviews, not just star ratings. Because star ratings alone don’t provide sufficient insight for informed decision making, reviewers follow a rigorous, online interview process with up to 40 questions. Seventy-five percent of reviews are long-form (an average of 650 words) with detailed feedback on support, training, usability, system performance, ease of implementation and more. Every review is checked by a TrustRadius analyst before publishing.
- Side-by-side product comparisons for easy apples-to-apples evaluation of products under consideration. TrustRadius is uniquely able to offer this tool because of the detailed information collected from the in-depth interviews.
- Community discussions on timely topics. In addition to reviews, TrustRadius hosts discussions about key technology issues that help members find solutions to problems, compare solutions and learn best practices.
- Connection opportunities. If a member wants to talk to a reviewer for more information and perspective, TrustRadius will connect the two for a phone call via LinkedIn Connect.