March SaaSness 2018: Elite Eight Preview
Voting is live on today's matchups! Click here to vote.
What is March SaaSness?
The SaaS industry's answer to March Madness. Where 64 SaaS companies compete in a single-elimination, six-round bracket concurrent with the NCAA Tournament.
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Come for the spectacle. Stay for the schadenfreude of unicorns (traditional NCAA powerhouses) duke it out with their rivals and go down in a blaze of ignomy at the hands of a plucky startup.
Who Competes in March SaaSness?
The process for selection and seeding is as rigorous as they come.
- A shady, 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. For the first time ever, we gave each region its own specific market niche:
- Human Resources
- Operations & BI
For a full overview of the 2018 March SaaSness Tournament schedule, rules and voting format, read our 2018 Tourney Introduction.
March SaaSness Elite Eight: Preview
It's time to get serious, folks. Seven-eights of our 2018 March SaaSness field are at home licking their wounds. Only 8 battle-hardened SaaS companies remain.
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 Greenhouse
How They Got Here: Bamboo HR
BambooHR enters the Elite Eight riding huge wins in Rounds 1-3. A Round 1 dismantling of Bullhorn was followed by a takedown of 1-seed Glassdoor. In Round 3, BambooHR turned heel on Lever and chewed and swallowed their onetime collaborator faster than you could say 'eucalyptus.' Up next: a date with Greenhouse for the HR region championship and entrance to the Final Four.
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. Experience: 2017 Sweet 16.
How They Got Here: Greenhouse.
First 3 opponents - a Murderer's Row of Unicorns: Paychex. Workday. Stripe. Greenhouse responded with a cold-blooded trek through the treacherous first half of the bracket. McKayla Maroney would feel right at home working for these guys.
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. History: 2017 Round 1.
Matchup #3. Hootsuite vs. Constant Contact
How They Got Here: Hootsuite.
Last 1-seed standing and social media kingpin Hootsuite went through the ringer in Rounds 1-3. Matchups with Engagio (hot ABM solution; last year's Cinderella), Drift (market-leading Inbound Chat platform; trendy upset pick), and Marketo (marketing automation stalwarts; seasoned SaaSness veterans) got more harrowing each round. Their clutchness proven in comebacks versus Drift and Marketo, Hootsuite presents a legitimate threat to go all the way and become our 4th March SaaSness Champion.
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: Constant Contact.
The Godfathers of Email Marketing are steamrolling into the Elite Eight. Constant Contact pulled off drama-free wins over BrightEdge and HubSpot. In the Round of 16, they clapped back at Tourney Analysts John Barrows and Morgan Ingram on Twitter and clobbered 2-seed Buffer out of the greatest marketing opportunity in Tournament history (a high-stakes showdown with Elite Eight). Constant Contact does not care about your narrative. They are crushing it on and off the Qualtrics/Twitter.
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.
Meet the Elite Eight: Box.
One of the most storied companies in March SaaSness lore, Box's grit and experience helped them pull through big-time matchups in all 3 rounds - beating beloved market-leaders Bitly, sworn rivals, Dropbox, and fan-favorites, Pendo.
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, CA. Tourney History: 2015 Final Four.
How They Got Here: Evernote.
Tourney Trivia: Evernote is all-time winningest company in March SaaSness. Four of Four Sweet Sixteens. Three of four Elite Eights. Zero Final Fours. (Is Marv Levy running March SaaSness strategy over there?). Evernote blew by Blue Jeans in Round 1, made a gritty comeback versus Atlassian in Round 2, and fended off VeraCode to reach the Elite Eight. The natives are restless. Is this the year Evernote breaks through?
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)
How They Got Here: LearnCore.
The 2018 Cinderella deserves some serious credit. LearnCore was the 64th overall seed (based on Twitter followers - right at 1,000). Out of our 8 tournament analysts this year, 0 predicted LearnCore to advance past their current matchup. Their opponents: the class of Palo Alto (1-seed Salesforce), Boston (9-seed InsightSquared), and Atlanta sales software (SalesLoft). LearnCore is Blue Chips meets Blues Brothers - on a mission from God.
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: DocSend.
DocSend spent Rounds 1-3 executing the Rope-a-Dope to perfection. Round 1 opponents DocuSign were the ultimate litmus test. A proud, storied March SaaSness program disengaged early, went into autopilot-mode, and never saw the furious, last-ditch adjustments coming. Like 2017 bracket busters, Engagio, DocSend is winning hearts and minds, educating the masses on the advancements in its market segment, and leveraging a deep bench of big personalities (Dave Koslow; Russ Heddleston; Courtney Chuang) to make their presence felt in comeback victories over DocuSign, GainSight, and Everstring.
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.
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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