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March SaaSness 2018: The Sweet 16

Previewing the Sweet 16 of the 2018 March SaaSness Tournament.

Welcome to the 4th annual March SaaSness Tournament, hosted by AmbitionQualtricsDiscoverOrg, and Prezi.

The SaaS industry's answer to March Madness has begun, with 64 SaaS companies competing in a single-elimination, six-round gauntlet of death that runs concurrent with the NCAA Tournament.

The process for selection and seeding is as rigorous as they come.

  • Our anonymous Selection Committee handpicks the field.
  • Seeding is determined by Twitter followers.
  • 24-hour public vote determines who advances from each matchup.

This year's field of competitors includes the Who's Who of SaaS. And for the first time ever, we divided our Field of 64 into 4 industry-based regions: HR, Ops, Marketing, and Sales. 

For a full overview of the 2018 March SaaSness Tournament schedule, rules and voting format, read our 2018 Tourney Introduction

March SaaSness Sweet 16 Preview

It's time to get serious, folks. Three-quarters of our 2018 March SaaSness field are at home licking their wounds. Only 16 battle-hardened SaaS companies remain. It's time to call in the experts.

March SaaSness Tradition: Gloves-Off Sweet 16 Preview with John Barrows.

Styles make fights, and we're about to bring you a brief introduction and breakdown of each competing company and how they stack up in their 3rd Round matchups. 

Matchup #1. BambooHR vs Lever 

How They Got Here: Bamboo HR 

BambooHR enters the SaaS 16 as one of the hottest companies left in the tournament. A Round 1 dismantling of Bullhorn followed by a 2nd Round takedown of 1-seed Glassdoor has made the 2nd year Tourney veterans a trendy pick for the Final Four.

Bamboo HR's Official Ambition Profile Page

March SaaSness

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About the Company: BambooHR provides HR software for small and medium-sized businesses that have outgrown using spreadsheets. BambooHR also helps companies keep track of all human resources activity for each individual employee. 

Founded: 2008. HQ: Lindoln, Utah. Tourney History: 2017 Sweet 16.

How They Got Here: Lever

Two years ago at this time, Lever was shocking the SaaS world by becoming the first 16-seed to advance to the Sweet 16 of March SaaSness - and in stunning, last-minute fashion no less. This year? Lever looks like the wily veterans they are. Iconixx and TriNet, two of the most well-known names in HR software, were unable to keep up.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

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About the Company: With its unique candidate-centric approach and emphasis on hiring team collaboration, Levers applicant tracking and sourcing technology helps businesses source, interview, and hire top talent in a fundamentally more human way.  Lever supports the hiring needs of hundreds of companies around the globe including the teams at Netflix, Yelp, Lyft, and Quora.

Founded: 2012. HQ: San Francisco. Tourney History: 2016 Sweet 16.

Matchup #2. Greenhouse vs. Stripe

How They Got Here: Greenhouse. 

No big deal. Just consecutive takedowns of HR software juggernauts Paychex and Workday.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

greenhouse saasness

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About the Company: Greenhouse Software designs tools that help companies source, interview, hire and onboard the right talent. Headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco, Greenhouse was founded by Daniel Chait and Jon Stross. Recognized as a 2015 Best Place to Work in New York City by Crain's New York Business, the Greenhouse team currently works with over 1,500 people-driven companies, including Airbnb, Slack, Oscar Health and more.

Founded: 2012. HQ: New York City. Tourney History: 2017 Round 1.

How They Got Here: Stripe.

Round 1 knockout of worthy adversary, Indeed. Followed by a 2nd Round romp versus Cornerstone OnDemand.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

Stripe SaaSness

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About the Company: Stripe processes billions of dollars a year for some of the most successful companies and marketplaces on the Internet, making it easier than ever to accept payments and manage an online business. Supporting startups to Fortune 50 companies, Stripe powers the sharing economy, top mobile applications, and global software services. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, as well as PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel, Max Levchin and Elon Musk. 

Founded: 2010. HQ: San Francisco. Tourney History: 2016 Final Four.

Matchup #3. Hootsuite vs. Marketo

How They Got Here: Hootsuite. 

The only 1-seed left in the Tournament went through two formidable opponents in Rounds 1 and 2. First they knocked off last year's Elite 8 company, Engagio. Then in Round 2, they survived a harrowing battle with upstarts, Drift. 

The Official Ambition Profile Page

hootsuite SaaSness

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About the Company: Hootsuite is a social relationship platform for businesses and organizations to collaboratively execute campaigns across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ Pages from one secure, web-based dashboard. Advanced functionality includes tools for audience engagement, team collaboration, account security and comprehensive analytics for end-to-end measurement and reporting. 

Founded: 2008. HQ: Vancouver. Tourney History: Debut.

How They Got Here: Marketo.

The marketing automation juggernaut returns to the SaaS 16 following a Round 1 undressing of TechTarget and a rematch victory over familiar SaaSness / real-world opponent, Mailchimp.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

marketo SaaSness

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About the Company: Marketo, Inc. provides the leading engagement marketing software and solutions designed to help marketers develop long-term relationships with their customers - from acquisition to advocacy. Marketo is built for marketers, by marketers and is setting the innovation agenda for marketing technology. Marketo puts Marketing First. Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with offices around the world, Marketo serves as a strategic partner to large enterprise and fast-growing small companies across a wide variety of industries. 

Founded: 2006. HQ: San Mateo. Tourney History: 2017 Sweet 16.

Matchup #4. Constant Contact vs. Buffer

How They Got Here: Constant Contact.

The O.G.'s of email marketing break through to the Round of 16 for the first time. After an easy win over Round 1 victims, BrightEdge, Constant Contact dug deep to pull off a surprise win over perennial powerhouse, HubSpot.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

marketo SaaSness

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About the Company: A veteran of SaaS marketing software, Constant Contact has been providing email, social media and event marketing tools to help small businesses grow their customer base since 1998. The company IPO'ed nearly a decade ago and hasn't slowed down since, now counting 500,000 small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and member associations among its clientele. 

Founded: 1998. HQ: Waltham, MA. Tourney History: 2017 Round 2.

How They Got Here: Buffer.

To make their first SaaS 16, Buffer had to go through two daunting upstarts in the marketing world: Terminus and Intercom. They emerged still intact and bracing for a potential Elite 8 showdown with arch-rivals, Hootsuite. 

The Official Ambition Profile Page

buffer SaaSness

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About the Company: Buffer, Inc. provides Buffer, a social media management tool for marketers and agencies. Its tool enables individuals/marketers to schedule their posts for later, post to their social networks, engage with multimedia, schedule as they discover, and create their own content. The company also facilitates businesses and agencies to schedule content, collaborate with their team, and identify insights. Its Buffer tool is available on various social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. The company also offers Pablo, a tool that designs engaging images for social media posts. It serves businesses and non-profits. The company was founded in 2010 and is based in San Francisco, California. 

Founded: 2010. HQ: San Francisco. Tourney History: 2017 Round 2.

Matchup #5. Box vs Pendo

How They Got Here: Box. 

One of the most storied companies in March SaaSness lore, Box's grit and experience helped them pull through 2 major league matchups to start the tourney. First, a Round 1 knockout of Bitly. And then - a faceoff with their most sworn rival, Dropbox. They enter the SaaS 16 battle-tested and beset by another tough matchup - with white hot product experiece platform, Pendo.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

box SaaSness

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About the Company: Founded in 2005, Box (NYSE:BOX) is transforming the way people and organizations work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions. As a leading enterprise content platform, Box helps more than 66,000 businesses, including General Electric, KKR & Co., P&G and The GAP securely access and manage their critical information in the cloud. Box is headquartered in Redwood City, CA, with offices across the United States, Europe and Asia.

Founded: 2005. HQ: Los Altos Tourney History: 2015 Final Four.

How They Got Here: Pendo. 

A Raleigh-Durham based competitor. A single-elimination six round tournament with 63 opponents. A rabid, passionate fanbase. Innovative business leaders like Larry Long, Jr. Everyone loves Pendo. Save for Tableau and Citrix, who found out what all the hype's been about via eviscerations in Rounds 1 and 2.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

pendo SaaSness

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About the Company: Pendo is a software company based in Raleigh, North Carolina that provides solutions in the areas of product management, user experience, customer success, and support.

Founded: 2013. HQ: Raleigh, NC. Tourney History: Debut.

Matchup #6. Veracode vs. Evernote

How They Got Here: Veracode. 

Much like Drake in the summer of 2015 - by pulling back-to-back stunners versus Slack and Zapier. We've officially tabbed Veracode as one of our Deep Sleepers heading into Round 3. 

The Official Ambition Profile Page

veracode SaaSness

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About the Company: Veracode is an application security company with headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts. Veracode offers a cloud based platform for managing enterprise-wide governance programs. 

Founded: 2006. HQ: Burlington, MA. Tourney History: Debut.

How They Got Here: Evernote. 

March SaaSness Trivia: Who is the all-time winningest company in the tourney's 3.5 year history? Evernote. The only company to go 4 for 4 in making the SaaS 16 easily dispatched of Blue Jeans in Round 1, then made a gritty comeback versus fellow-heavyweight Atlassian in Round 2. A perennial threat to win it all - this year being no exception.

About the Company:  Evernote was founded in 2007 as an independent, privately held company headquartered in Redwood City, California. Evernote builds products and applications that create a workspace you can write free from distraction, find what you need, collect information, and present your ideas to the world. 

Founded: 2007. HQ: Redwood City, CA. Tourney History: Elite 8 (2x)

Matchup #7. LearnCore vs. SalesLoft

How They Got Here: LearnCore. 

You need a certain combination of midwestern ruggedness, brassy 'O.G. sales guys' arrogance, and one dedicated, hardcore fanbase to make the run LearnCore has into the SaaS 16. A shocking come-from-behind Round 1 takedown of Salesforce begat a decisive Round 2 win over InsightSquared. Chicago is in the house. Do not sleep on the official Cinderella of the 2018 March SaaSness Tournament.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

learncore SaaSness

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About the Company: LearnCore is a sales enablement and video coaching solution that address common training challenges for large and growing organizations. Headquartered in Chicago and founded in 2012, LearnCore enables companies to onboard new reps faster, ensure consistent communication across global teams, and quickly roll out new certification programs and products. .

Founded: 2012. HQ: Chicago, IL. Tourney History: Debut.

How They Got Here: SalesLoft. 

One of the top 3 most storied programs in March SaaSness history. Every year you can count on Kyle Porter and co. to make a major splash in the tourney. Keys to victory: Flair for the dramatic. Powerhouse brand awareness. And low-key X-Factor David Ahn (the company's talented social media director - now in his 4th year leading their charge through the March SaaSness gauntlet). SalesLoft is coming off an epic Round 2 win over their arch-rivals, Outreach, and decisive blowout of MindTickle in Round 1. They are officially en fuego entering the SaaS 16.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

salesloft SaaSness

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About the Company: SalesLoft is a Sales Engagement Platform for modern sales organizations. The company offers platforms to help increase appointments with sales email tracking, built-in sales dialer to accelerate sales performance, real-time analytics and reporting to maximize performance, integrations to stack sales directly with workflow, and salesforce integration between CRM and sales platform.

Founded: 2011. HQ: Atlanta. Tourney History: 2017 Elite 8.

Matchup #8. Everstring vs. DocSend

How They Got Here: Everstring. 

Matt Edmundson and co. wasted no time making the most of their tourney debut, taking down Talkdesk and Xactly in Rounds 1 and 2. A dangerous double-digit seeded competitor entering the SaaS 16.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

everstring SaaSness

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About the Company: EverString helps B2B companies accelerate growth with its predictive marketing and predictive sales software-as-a-service (SaaS). EverString Audience Platform combines applied data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence with the broadest set of data signals from more than 27 million companies. EverStrings predictive marketing solutions enable marketers to create relevant audiences of target companies, and its predictive sales solutions bring machine learning-assisted prospecting to sales professionals. Marketing and sales teams use EverString to expand their databases with net-new, relevant companies and people, prioritize and focus resources on the right prospects, and enrich their database records for better context and insights into key prospects. EverString is backed by leading investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, IDG Ventures and Lakestar. 

Founded: 2012. HQ: San Mateo, CA. Tourney History: Debut.

How They Got Here: DocSend.

Your classic Deep Sleep, Second Half Team, and enterprising March SaaSness upstart of 2018. Last year it was Engagio. This year, it's Dave Koslow and his team of rowdy legionarries making their presence known with major upsets over DocuSign and Gainsight.

The Official Ambition Profile Page

docsend SaaSness

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About the Company: DocSend is a company based on the idea that life could be made easier with the implementation of documents being sent and signed using the internet. DocSend makes it easier than ever for individuals and businesses to send, receive and sign documents. 

Founded: 2013. HQ: San Francisco, CA. Tourney History: Debut.

What’s Next?

The 3rd Round of the 2018 March SaaSness Tournament kicks off on Thursday March 22, at 12am EST. Follow Ambition on Twitter for live score updates, analysis and final results for each matchup.

Want more information? Visit Tourney Central at ambition.com/saasness/.

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