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Slack App - Review of the Top Software Startups

Slack-App-Review

SLACK APP

Slack App offers chatting and communication with a business focus. Unlike apps that are more targeted to social media, Slack is about helping employees and businesses communicate with one another. As of March 2015, the company was valued at $2.76 billion, and it continues to grow. In the course of six months, the company has more than doubled its valuation. The explosive growth of the company has come from the addition of an average of $1 million in new contracts every 11 days, and from $12 million in recurring revenue from the previous year.

In just one year, Slack App has grown to hundreds of thousands of daily users. It has been deemed the fastest–growing business app ever. The reason Slack has experienced such phenomenal growth is because it did something the other app companies did not: It worked with the business app as though it was a consumer app. The gap traditionally seen between business and consumer apps has been shrinking, and Slack has taken advantage of this opportunity.

Slack’s timing was impeccable. Many businesses were disenchanted with the options they had for connecting with co–workers on a business level. With the Slack app, smaller teams throughout various companies discovered it in the cloud and started to use it. Quickly, Slack has become many companies’ first line of communication. 

In the beginning, there was almost no marketing done by Slack. The app sold itself, as people discovered it and word–of–mouth advertising caused more people to start using it. Because it provided employees with exactly what they needed and wanted in a business communication app, they told everyone they knew about it. That meant a more organic adoption of the service, and a higher level of loyalty from the user base. What made Slack so popular, though, was Twitter.

Businesspeople who used and loved the app would make mention of Slack on Twitter, where all their followers would see it. That led many more people to try the app, to see what the buzz was all about. CEO Stewart Butterfield believes that the app may not have seen such a high level of success so quickly if it was not for Twitter and all the people mentioning Slack on the social media platform. That was not the only reason the Slack app became so popular so quickly, though. Another reason was its ease of use, which is important to businesspeople who don't have a lot of time to learn yet another new piece of technology.

The layout of the Slack app is intuitive, and it integrates seamlessly with hundreds of other apps, so the information from them can be pulled into Slack. There is no training needed to start using the app, and the ease of customization makes the app a hit with people in all different types of businesses. If they need communication that's fast, easy, and well–prepared to work with other apps and technology, they need Slack – and thanks to the buzz around the app, they know it.  Will Slack be acquired by LinkedIn, Microsoft, or Google?  Only time will tell.


If you'd like to learn about startup investing or want to see if you're an accredited investor apply HERE.  Angel Kings are the angel investing and venture capital experts.

Ross-Blankenship-expert-investor

Ross Blankenship is the "expert on venture capital and angel investing" for startups and investments for venture deals. He is also a proven entrepreneur, and the Founder and CEO of AngelKings.com. Angel Kings is an investing platform that provides accredited angel investors the opportunity to invest in top startups and companies in sectors like cybersecurity, biotech, mobile, data and financial services. Angel Kings provides both venture capital funds for startup investing as well as private equity funding for early and middle-stage investments. Ross Blankenship has successfully founded several companies and now manages a Venture Capital fund focused on early stage, high growth startups in sectors such as mobile, cybersecurity, cloud computing and biotechnology. Learn more about Ross Blankenship, and how to become a successful, early investor at http://AngelKings.com.


Mixpanel - Review of the Top Software Startups in America

Mixpanel-Software-Startup

MIXPANEL

Mixpanel topped CNN's annual list of startups to bet on in 2015, and investors have agreed with that evaluation for about five years. The startup has received a total of $77 million in investments over the course of four rounds and five years. The latest round of investing was a Series B round in December 2014, which landed the startup $65 million of its total–all from a single investor. At the time, Mixpanel cofounder Suhail Doshi stated the startup was valued at $865 million–a huge step up from its Y Combinator roots in 2009.

So, what launched Mixpanel to the top of the hot software list in half a decade? The product, which is a serious analytics program, had a lot to do with the company's success. In fact, the program meets consumer needs so well that all the startups seem to be using it. According to a report in 2012, Andreessen Horowitz found that Mixpanel was a favorite among growing companies, which is why it invested in one of the first rounds. The firm just happened to be the investor that returned two years later for the impressive Series B funding mentioned above.

Doshi credits some of Mixpanel's success with an intelligent early move by the company. While Mixpanel analytics do work on websites, the startup originally concentrated on mobile. Doshi said it was a big bet, but with numerous bigger analytic players slow to respond to growing needs for mobile data, Mixpanel's decision positioned it to become what Doshi calls the "king of mobile analytics." According to numerous industry reporters, it's not posturing or marketing language on Doshi's part–despite being a young company with little more than 100 employees, Mixpanel is the name that comes up most when discussing mobile analytics.

Timing, then, was on Mixpanel's side. The startup also worked from the bottom up within the industry. The majority of the company's clients were startups, too, which made for a lot of turnover, but allowed Mixpanel to build quickly on previous successes and scale to larger clients over time.


Get a copy of our official guide to venture capital and angel investing by becoming a member of Angel Kings - the Angel Investing Experts. And learn from the angel investing and venture capital expert, Ross Blankenship.

Ross-Blankenship-software-review

Ross Blankenship is the "expert on venture capital and angel investing" for startups and investments for venture deals. He is also a proven entrepreneur, and the Founder and CEO of AngelKings.com. Angel Kings is an investing platform that provides accredited angel investors the opportunity to invest in top startups and companies in sectors like cybersecurity, biotech, mobile, data and financial services. Angel Kings provides both venture capital funds for startup investing as well as private equity funding for early and middle-stage investments. Ross Blankenship has made more investments in venture capital before the age of 30 than most venture capitalists have made in a lifetime. As a venture capital expert on startup funding, Ross Blankenship continues to advise media outlets on upcoming SEC rules, been a mentor for startups, and helped accredited investors make investments in the highest ranked startups. Ross Blankenship is also an expert who advises the media on the JOBS Act, startups, and angel investments for new regulations and laws passed by the SEC about crowd funding and equity crowd funding. Ross Blankenship has successfully founded several companies and now manages a Venture Capital fund focused on early stage, high growth startups in sectors such as mobile, cybersecurity, cloud computing and biotechnology. Learn more about Ross Blankenship, and how to become a successful, early investor at http://AngelKings.com.

SlideMail - Review of the Best Software Startups

slidemail-software-review

SlideMail

SlideMail is an exciting startup that's newer than the two previously mentioned. The fledgling company managed to land $120,000 in seed investments through Y Combinator in mid–2014. What makes SlideMail hot is the way it takes a space that's been mined by giants such as Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail and makes it new again with a little bit of intelligence and one feature that may make SlideMail technology one of the big tech acquisitions of the future.

SlideMail is an app that helps you handle email interactions. The app does what a lot of the browser–based email applications attempt to do, but SlideMail's intuitive programming does it better. Much of the technology is based on natural language programming, which lets SlideMail interpret simple phrases within email as a human does. If an email contains phrasing about dinner tomorrow night, SlideMail makes a note within the app. As times approach, the mail program brings appointment– or time–based emails to the surface, ensuring users don't miss time–based messages in the hustle of daily communications.

SlideMail uses similar logic programming to adapt to user behavior. If you archive email from a certain person to the same folder repeatedly, SlideMail might prompt you to set up automatic archiving. It also suggests email actions in an intelligent fashion, which lets users move through over–burdened inboxes more efficiently.

These functions may sound familiar to users of existing email programs. Outlook and Gmail both have some functionality that can recognize times and dates, for example, and users can set up rule sets in both programs to automatically handle email. With SlideMail, however, the app suggests these things based on actual behavior so users don't have to come up with a list of behaviors on their own. Products that meet existing needs in a more efficient or convenient manner are often successful, which is why SlideMail would score well on Angel Kings' product checklist.

Even more than convenience, SlideMail's privacy option gives it an edge.  With increasing news stories about the eternal nature of online data–and a growing number of scandals involving hacked or leaked emails–users are growing more wary of email use. According to SlideMail, however, all data is stored within your instance of the application rather than on third–party servers. By deleting the app, you delete all information related to your email account. It's not perfect privacy, but it is more than most mobile email users get.

SlideMail hasn't hit its stride with marketing. Users and tech gurus have pointed out a number of branding and marketing options for the startup, however. The convenience and time–management features will resonate with college–aged audiences, particularly those who are always willing to step away from mainstream applications such as Gmail. Another market might be older users, who still rely on Yahoo or other sites for email and would like a robust mobile email program–SlideMail works with existing accounts through POP access.


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Ross-Blankenship-expert-investor

Ross Blankenship is the "expert on venture capital and angel investing" for startups and investments for venture deals. He is also a proven entrepreneur, and the Founder and CEO of AngelKings.com. Angel Kings is an investing platform that provides accredited angel investors the opportunity to invest in top startups and companies in sectors like cybersecurity, biotech, mobile, data and financial services. Angel Kings provides both venture capital funds for startup investing as well as private equity funding for early and middle-stage investments. Ross Blankenship has made more investments in venture capital before the age of 30 than most venture capitalists have made in a lifetime. As a venture capital expert on startup funding, Ross Blankenship continues to advise media outlets on upcoming SEC rules, been a mentor for startups, and helped accredited investors make investments in the highest ranked startups. Ross Blankenship is also an expert who advises the media on the JOBS Act, startups, and angel investments for new regulations and laws passed by the SEC about crowd funding and equity crowd funding. Ross Blankenship has successfully founded several companies and now manages a Venture Capital fund focused on early stage, high growth startups in sectors such as mobile, cybersecurity, cloud computing and biotechnology. Learn more about Ross Blankenship, and how to become a successful, early investor at http://AngelKings.com.

The Top Software Startups in America

In 2014, The Economist noted that software startups were exploding across the world; venture capitalist Marc Andreessen went so far as to say, "Software is eating the world."

Though timing as of 2015 is somewhat favorable for any software startup founder with a strong product and plan, not every fledgling software company makes it. Many don't even make it to the seed stage of investing, partly because the ample competition in the niche makes it more difficult to attract investors. We'll review some recent hot software startups in a variety of stages and discuss some reasons they stand out from the global crowd, starting with:

apptus-software-startup

APPTUS

Product is definitely the deciding factor that's landing this hot software startup millions every time it steps up to the pitching mound. In early 2015, Apptus scored $41 million in funds as part of a Series B investment round, with much of the funding coming from Salesforce Ventures, an investing arm of Salesforce.com.

Apptus provides a number of solutions targeted primarily at e–commerce companies. Its first, and powerhouse, product is Quote–to–Cash, a platform that makes it easier for companies to move efficiently through revenue cycle and drive sustainable cash growth. Interestingly, Quote–to–Cash’s entire product line, as well as other solutions from this startup, is that the entire Apttus product line is based on Salesforce.com. In effect, Apptus piggybacks the extremely successful ERP solution with a number of integrations that improve experience for businesses using Salesforce.com.

Aligning its products with Saleforce.com gives Apptus at least two major benefits as a startup. One thing we like to see with a startup is that its product idea isn't first to market–a product that builds successfully on something else is much more likely to succeed. It's also more likely to see success faster than a ground–up venture, and faster success means faster time to value for an investor. By basing its product on the existing Salesforce platform, Apttus doesn't have to grow an audience from scratch. And, if you're going to tie yourself to another software company, why not pick one of the most successful? Salesforce itself grew 33 percent from 2013 to 2014, and was the fasted growing software company at the time.

The second reason the Salesforce.com connection makes Apptus a strong software startup is that it provides for an excellent chance at a future acquisition. At Angel Kings, we never invest in any startup that doesn't have an exit strategy, and linking arms with a company that is growing massively each year and has a history of generous acquisition purchases is about as good as any strategy we've seen.

Previous companies acquired by Salesforce.com include Buddy Media for $745 million in 2012, Radian6 for $326 million in 2011, and Exact Target for $2.5 billion in June 2013. As of early 2015, however, Salesforce.com appeared happy to invest in a growing Apptus rather than acquire it outright; in fact, according to Apptus, Salesforce.com's contribution to the startup's Series B funding is the highest investment amount from Salesforce.com that wasn't part of an acquisition.

Apptus also began as a traditional bootstrap, which is rare for software startups these days. Lean management during the first seven years meant slow growth, but once the company did come to investors, it had a strong project and a plan with many kinks worked out. Current CEO Kirk Krappe says that primary goals are to continue building a great company, but he acknowledges what many investors seem to be banking on: Apptus is positioned well for an IPO or sale in the future. 


If you'd like to learn about startup investing or want to see if you're an accredited investor apply HERE.  Angel Kings are the angel investing and venture capital experts.

Ross-Blankenship-expert-advisor

Ross Blankenship is the "expert on venture capital and angel investing" for startups and investments for venture deals. He is also a proven entrepreneur, and the Founder and CEO of AngelKings.com. Ross Blankenship has made more investments in venture capital before the age of 30 than most venture capitalists have made in a lifetime. Ross Blankenship has successfully founded several companies and now manages a Venture Capital fund focused on early stage, high growth startups in sectors such as mobile, cybersecurity, cloud computing and biotechnology. Learn more about Ross Blankenship, and how to become a successful, early investor at http://AngelKings.com.