In its quest to be the “Yelp for software reviews,” Chicago’s G2 Crowd just landed a big new round of funding from some well-known investors.
G2 Crowd announced Wednesday that it has raised a $30 million series B led by Accel, with participation from LinkedIn, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, unnamed industry executives and G2 Crowd’s founders. The startup said it plans to use the funding to build out its review platform and increase its team.
The investment comes as G2 Crowd has grown quickly and become a major player in the B2B software review space. The platform has amassed more than 170,000 user reviews since launching in 2013, and there are more than 25,000 products available for review on the site. The startup has now raised $45 million to date. Its newest lead investor Accel is a well known Silicon Valley firm that previously invested in companies like Facebook, Slack and Dropbox.
G2 Crowd has grown to just under 100 employees, and expects to be at 160 by the end of the year, CEO Tim Handorf said, adding that in two years they expect to have 350, and 1,000 in the next five years.
G2 Crowd’s goal is to change the way people shop for business software. Just as people visit Yelp before choosing a restaurant, G2 Crowd wants companies to visit its site before buying software and services.
“We’re building B2B transparency,” Handorf said. “We enable buyers to make better decisions based on peer opinions.”
Reviews are everywhere in the consumer space. You can leave qualitative and quantitative feedback for almost anything, from restaurants to cars to your Uber driver. But prior to G2 Crowd, that level of transparency didn’t really exist in B2B, Handorf said.
“We would like to take credit for changing that mindset, where being transparent with your experiences is OK now in the B2B world,” he said.
G2 Crowd doesn’t take advertising dollars and doesn’t let companies pay to improve their ranking. The startup generates revenue by offering things like badges that highly ranked companies can use in their own marketing. Companies can also upgrade their G2 Crowd profile page with video and other content for a fee. Handorf said over the past two years G2 Crowd’s revenue has grown 3x year over year.
The company was co-founded by Godard Abel, the former CEO and founder of BigMachines, which was acquired by Oracle, and SteelBrick, which acquired by Salesforce.
Image via G2 Crowd