A new company is emerging out of stealth today with $35 million in funding and a plan to acquire and consolidate startups within the Salesforce ecosystem.
Unaric, as the company is called, has secured $25m in debt and $10m equity from various VCs, angels, and growth lenders, as it looks to bring together independent Salesforce-focused SaaS companies help them capture a larger chunk of the gargantuan market that has cropped up around Salesforce these past couple of decades.
Some companies have built megabucks businesses on top of Salesforce, including Salesforce-native DevOps platform Copado; Salesforce data backup platform OwnBackup; and lead-generation platform Qualified. Thousands of smaller companies have cropped up off the back of Salesforce’s rise to the giddy heights of a $200 billion enterprise behemoth, creating an ecosystem that some estimates peg at four times that of Salesforce itself.
However, relatively few companies within that Salesforce ecosystem become massive in their own right, due in part to their narrowly-focused “point solutions” that mean end-users have to combine multiple different tools from various smaller vendors — something that larger enterprises are often reluctant to do. And this is where Unaric enters the fray.
“For enterprise customers it can be painful to purchase and manage small niche solutions,” Unaric co-founder and CEO James Gasteen explained to TechCrunch. “Unaric addresses this by building larger suites, which solve large problems for customers through a single vendor who can provide greater innovation, better service and global support.”
‘By founders, for founders’
Founded out of London in July last year, Unaric is aiming to buy up to 40 companies over the next three years, the first of which it’s announcing today with the acquisition of Salesbolt, a product that automatically keeps CRM contacts up-to-date. Over time, Unaric says that it intends to increase the opportunity for cross-selling and knowledge-sharing across all Salesforce products under its wing, as well as introduce a “shared central infrastructure” including a product and engineering hub.
The Salesbolt deal pegs Unaric’s initial focus firmly in the RevOps realm, an area Gasteen says it will double-down on.
“By acquiring multiple companies in this areas we will be able to drive cross-sales,” he said. “This is an area where we already have a pipeline of deals lined up. The next stage is to use our knowledge of industries and existing customers’ needs to build out suites of companies focused on particular industry sectors.”
Unari is the handiwork of James Gasteen and chief product officer Neil Crawford, each having previously founded Salesforce-ecosystem companies, and chair Peter Lindholm and CFO Moritz Birke. Gasteen, in fact, already has prior experience of merging two Salesforce-focused companies, when his previous startup Precursive acquired a “complementary” product called Taskfeed back in 2019.
“There is a mismatch in the Salesforce ISV (independent software vendor) ecosystem which we have experienced personally, and we know how to put it right,” Gasteen said. “We believe that by building suites of products that match more closely the needs of enterprises, we can help companies to significantly increase their sales, scale their businesses and sell to corporate buyers who would not normally buy from individual vendors.”
Such a hefty acquisition spree will, of course, require a lot of capital which is where Unaric’s external funding comes into play. The $25 million debt segment emanates from Atempo Growth, with the remaining seed equity tranche coming from LocalGlobe, Concentric, FJ Labs, and angels such as OwnBackup founder Sam Gutmann; Hotjar founder Johan Malmberg; and enterprise software startup investor Dave Kellogg.
Longer term, Gasteen says that Unaric is looking to emulate the growth trajectory of a number of established enterprise software companies, such as Veeva Systems, a $32 billion life sciences software company; and Ncino, a $3 billion fintech. Both companies were initially built on top of Salesforce and embraced the cloud from the get-go, but more importantly they have focused their efforts on broad techstacks spanning a single sector.
“They have created a lot of value in the ecosystem through being focused on a single industry techstack,” Gasteen said. “They have built the companies mainly through product development and some M&A. Our idea is to emulate the success of these companies by building many Ncino’s and Veeva’s within Unaric.”