So, it’s finally here! Our spectacular list of top startups to sell for – in alphabetical order. If you don’t know what this list is all about, well then, you really should follow our blog because we routinely do some magical stuff there. But for now, this is the Crunched list of Top 26 Startups to sell for. I know, I know, 26 is an odd number. But we just couldn’t leave any one of these amazing companies off the list just to follow convention. We looked at various criteria including funding credibility, culture, benefits and perks, product, and employee loyalty that startups would have to meet in order to make the list. For the detailed list, you should read this post, but suffice to say, these startups go above and beyond in all departments. We’ve done our homework on their awesomeness, and we can safely say it’s off the charts.
We should warn you – all the companies on this list are fantastic, and that you will be reeled in, hook, line and sinker. And may be tempted to brush up your resume with your manager looking over your shoulder. We advise against that. And hey, if you’re one of the companies that made it on this list, we think you’re really awesome, so congratulations on making it this far. So without much ado, here’s the list of the Crunched Top Startups to Sell For 2012!
1. Act-On: They call themselves “hope for the marketing underdog.” But we think any business that uses them is no underdog but a topdog. And they have a long, long list of some pretty impressive clients that testify to their topdog title. Act-On is a marketing automation software that empowers small businesses to effectively market online like the way big companies do. That is a pretty sophisticated marketing package. And to keep that marketing machine well-oiled, their human task force is constantly growing. Besides flocking to the product itself like moths to a flame, prospective employees have a lot to look forward to, including super fun Halloween parties, opportunity to attend industry conferences and training sessions, an all-inclusive benefits package and wonderful happy talented co workers. And living in Oregon is pretty awesome too. Are you packing your bags yet?
2. Airbnb: No whiners allowed is their motto. A place of aspiration and discovery is how their CEO likes to call Airbnb. And we agree. Don’t tell the boss, but we may be guilty of browsing their website for hours on end, just day dreaming of beautiful places and extended vacations. For those that don’t know, Airbnb matches up travelers with authentic homestays by local hosts allowing them to take in a unique experience. But Airbnb believes in extending this love to the people that make this happen. So if you’re lucky enough to be employed by them, here’s what you can expect: Take-your-dog-to-work-daily, weekly yoga classes, organic meals, $2000/year to travel.. and we think the rest doesn’t matter. But there’s a lot more, we assure you. Go pack your bags, because they have offices in many, many countries. All aboard!
3. AppNexus: So, this startup is a true NY tech scene darling. And why wouldn’t they be? Because if we were being really honest, we would tell you this is an awesome company. Appnexus is a fully customizable, super advanced advertising technology platform. But this company has been in the news for so many great reasons, a big one being that they’re one of the most well-funded tech startups ever. An even more interesting thing about them is that they may be buying a company! And a Microsoft company, no less. But you didn’t hear that from us. A company this awesome must have awesome benefits, right? Well, Einstein..yes it does. Ergonomics consultants so you can keep your backbone healthy (no pun intended!), in-house yoga so you can breathe happy, commuter benefits, a fridge and kitchen that literally never run out of food, catered Friday lunches, and so much more. But most importantly, the added perk of making a company great. You better dress up that resume to impress.
4. BazaarVoice: BazaarVoice has been around since 2005, and they have over 700 happy global companies that are glad for BazaarVoice’s existence. BazaarVoice helps companies put the customer at the heart of their marketing by encouraging customers to have conversations about their brand and product, and turning the social data into insights to help them discover hidden revenue opportunities. Sounds awesome, right? It is. But what makes a great company is a great culture and here are some things that make it exactly that. Badass? Check. Charitable? Check. Beach volleyball? Check. Waterslides on a company getaway? Check. Science fair for adults? Check. And a company that loves what it does? Check. Check. And check. Are you busy shining your interview shoes already?
5. Bigcommerce: This company celebrates a lot. And they celebrate everything. We’re big fans of regular celebrations. As are they, it looks like. BigCommerce is a platform that allows its clients to create an ecommerce website, complete with a fantastic web-design and online store. Included are SEO features and a success Guru who will help a client launch, promote and grow their store. Sounds like a sweet deal to us. But behind the scenes is a what they call a “recipe for awesome”. We concur. If their Facebook feed is anything to go by, it probably doesn’t feel like work, but more like a giant always-on party! Spray painting sessions, Paintball sessions, Halloween parties, Easter parties, Christmas parties.. there’s a party for everything at BigCommerce. Company-owned game room, and a fully-stocked beer fridge, complete with “Beer of the Week” is what led them to be a company you should sell for. We mean it.
6. Booker: Formerly GramercyOne, they are a business asset, simply put. From where we’re looking at this company, it can do everything. We suspect you can literally run your small business inside this app. And that’s exactly what this app can do. It can do everything from scheduling, to point-of-sale, to marketing to social commerce from within the app. And it’s all in the cloud. But while we’re rooting for the app, and headaches that we know it will save customers, we’re rooting equally loudly for the team that makes this happen. And the company is more than happy to pass on the love through discounted gym memberships, competitive salaries to help pay for indulgences, stock options, some pretty spectacular views of NYC from their office, participating in kickball, finding your twin day, sharing hometown love day.. basically they pay it forward in many ways. We suggest you spend some quality time on their Careers section.
7. Box: If your company offers to let you work from home, and you can seamlessly collaborate with your team members on an important project using your iPad, you probably have Box to thank. They are bringing sexy back to enterprise software. Project collaboration, FTP alternative, secure file sharing, document management are geeky terms we love, but these are actually features of this software. It’s basically genius you can tote around. But it’s not merely a company making IT easier for the Fortune 500s, they actually have a fun personality. It travels through to their company benefits, but we fell hook, line and sinker for the free Caltrain passes, ping pong and taking our birthday(s) off. Oh, and lots of free food. But a big reason, the Crunched office is buzzing about them is their ability to throw some pretty fantastic parties. You’ve been warned, Box, you’re going to be overwhelmed by the job applications now.
8. Docusign: They make work and personal life easier, we think. Finally, a faster, easier, cheaper, environmentally-friendly, timesaving, effortless way to sign. Docusign is an e-signature platform that allows you to sign important documents easily, share them with others and store them securely in the cloud. Oh, and did we mention that e-signatures are recognized around the world and are legally binding? Yes, we did. But the icing on the cake is that you can do it from any device, anywhere.. it’s that simple. Speaking of simple, so is their hiring philosophy. If you’re hardworking and awesome, you may have a shot at..their celebratory breaking of a pinata when inaugurating a new office, their scare-worthy Halloween parties, stock options, opportunities to go to awesome conferences and events, competitive salaries, and the chance to work with a team that has taken previous startups to publicly traded companies. We suggest you hustle and create a Docusign account, it’ll save time when you have to sign your job offer from them.
9. Eventbrite: If you’re organizer extraordinaire, chances are you’ve probably heard of this company. And with good reason. Eventbrite takes the pain out of organizing an event by allowing a user to manage the event online, including invitations, promotion and even selling tickets online. Oh, and if you’re not organizing but want to attend a jazz music concert, they’ll find an event for you that increases your coolness quotient. Speaking of coolness quotient, theirs is pretty high. Why, you ask? Well, they have a Zen room for their employees to recharge, catered lunches, monthly health and wellness stipends, neverending snack supply.. you get the idea. Essentially, it’s not an event for them to pamper their employees.. it’s a daily task. And one they do without complaint or any strings attached. We like them. Mostly because they help us be cool.
10. Hubspot: This company can teach everyone a thing or two about integration. Eliminating the need for a wide array to help with marketing tasks, Hubspot is an all-in-one marketing automation tool for companies that helps them manage everything from their social networks to SEO and paid search. Best of all? Fully integrated analytics to keep you in the loop about what’s working and what’s not. This kind of innovation demands a brain force of the A+ kind. Which, not suprisingly, Hubspot has. And Hubspot keeps them with free beer, a take-what-you-need vacation policy, $4k shopping spree for accepting ther job offer, ping pong, a $10k reward for referring someone, a real salary.. the list doesn’t end. Trust us, we’ve tried. If you get hired here, do you mind putting us down in “Who referred you to this job?”, because we’d love the $10k. We really would.
11. LivingSocial: This is a company that prides itself on championing good ideas. With a business model that empowers local small businesses and customers alike, LivingSocial has come a long way from a fledgling startup. LivingSocial partners with local businesses to post deals in 100+ markets around the world, which are snapped up by customers seeking new and unique experiences. It takes care of the local businesses, and their clients. But it also believes in taking of its employees. Which is why there’s a “LivingSocializing” crew at every office location, which provides chances for all LivingSocialities to interact with one another through beer tastings, yoga, theatres etc. But if you’re the anti-social kind, you can treat yourself to a hour-long cardio session along with your iPod for company, or snooze away while getting a chair massage. You can also skip brown bagging last night’s leftovers, because they have a snack bar. And while you’re at it, skip the car and take public transport because it’s paid for. And environmentally friendly. Bottomline: You really should start looking for jobs there. And live more socially.
12. MediaMath: This company gets a standing ovation for being so amazingly geeky. And proudly so. This marketing ecosystem enables marketers and agency professionals to plan, execute, optimize and analyze marketing campaigns across the digital landscape. As a result, you get the most out of your $ spend, and audience insights that will drive your future marketing campaigns. In order to do this, they go where no math man or math woman has gone before with the help of their abundant intellectual horsepower, aka employees. Pioneering is a difficult job, so they keep their employees happy by giving generous medical benefits, free on-site chair massages, nearly 30 holidays a year, parking and transit allowance, and they’ll even pay for you to get the newest smartphone so you can Facebook just a little bit faster. For new parents, they give you maternity and paternity leave so you can enjoy your little bundle of joy without frantically coding at the same time. And they also throw in monthly Math mixers – where you don’t actually geek out and do math, but get to know your fellow MediaMath-ecians, just a little bit better. Are you ready to have your geek challenged? Because they will do that.
13. Mindjet: Inspires work, we think. This company makes a software that allows a user to create a visual framework, aka mindmap, along with content and context that can be shared and used as part of task management. We like this new way of working already. Add in the ability to collaborate in the cloud, and it’s a winner. Basically, we can all get work done faster, and enjoy summer Fridays in winter. But to make a winner, you need a team of winners behind it, fueling its growth and enjoying that ride. Lucky for Mindjet, it seems to have exactly that. But it does one better. It allows them wine-and-cheese parties, impromptu race sessions, ping pong games, health benefits so you don’t have to worry if someone accidentally smacks you in the head with the ping pong ball, weekly yoga classes to help flex your newly cultivated muscle on the ping pong table.. you get the picture. Fabulous companies help keep their employees fabulous, happy and spirited. And Mindjet manages to do just that. And in style, if you ask us. It’s almost as if it can read minds. See what we did there?
14. On Deck Capital: This company seeks to disrupt the way small businesses borrow money. We’re fans of anything related to small businesses, but this one is particularly special. Mostly because, they make the lending process simple, quick and innovative. And that they’ve paid out over $275 million since 2007. More power to small businesses! Oh, and added bonus? They look at the general health of your business, and not just your credit score, when deciding to lend you money. And there’s no bankers to deal with (this is our favorite part!) Basically, they are just genuinely nice when it comes to money matters. And we like that. While the simplicity and uniqueness of the product speaks for itself, is it worth spending time to brush up that dusty resume? If you like paid vacation days, life insurance, ability to work with a great team and full health benefits, then we think yes.
15. Pandora: Everyone knows about this company. If you’ve discovered new music, proposed to your sweetheart using a playlist on Pandora, loved that you can listen to that playlist anywhere and anyhow.. Pandora has made that possible. For those who were living under a rock, Pandora is to internet streaming music what peanut butter is to jelly, ergo, a match made in heaven. Pandora is all gifted, and will continue to empower the musically curious. But running this mean machine needs an army, and a salesarmy 300-person strong. You’ll find out soon enough how we know these intimate details about Pandora. But here’s what you need to know if you want to go running to their San Francisco headquarters and beg them for a job. Because you should. Here’s why: fresh fruit delivered daily, private on-site concerts, on-site massage, and fully equipped backstage area if you’re in the mood to jam with Justin from Human Resources, among many other benefits. In short, they’re awesome. and profitable. We suggest you polish up that resume.
16. Panjiva: Talk about a company that makes global trade easier. Because it really does. Panjiva is a 750,000-strong database of suppliers around the world with in-depth information about each supplier, complete with top customers of each supplier and even U.S. customs data that is updated weekly. But don’t take our word for it. Hop on over and look at their laundry list of drool-worthy customers that use them to simplify sourcing processes and streamline their supply chain disruptions. But their awesomeness begins at home. With their employees. And so, they let employees build or buy their dream computers, give them many, many days off in a year, pride themselves on constantly improving their ping pong game (Yes, they have a ping pong table at work), take them out of the office to enjoy themselves, fresh juice and craft beer tastings.. basically, it may just be a giant party. Or a reward for helping Panjiva be awesome and stay that way.
17. Sailthru: If you want your customer to feel that you’re talking to each of them individually about their preferences, their interests and the like, Sailthru should be your go-to product. The coolest thing about the product? Their ability to marry two marketing essentials – exceptional email delivery and behavior targeting. Oh, and they know neat things like people spend an average of 28 days on email a year. Now they’ve checked off the great product, the tons of money they’ve raised and their coolness quotient is high considering fun things they know that could empower companies, but what about their employee culture? Well. They call themselves a quirky company, and maybe it’s because their booze to caffeine ratio is 3:5, or maybe it’s because they give you unlimited vacation days. Whatever it is that makes them quirky, we like. We’re big fans of their policy to give autonomy to employees, conducting mandatory beer cruises and their SoHo home. Are you feeling the wind in your sails yet? ‘Coz we certainly are.
18. Say Media: This startup was founded in 2005, and now has over 400 employees across the world. The short story about them is that while they’re primarily an ad network, they do own properties that produce original content in a variety of lifestyle categories. And now since earlier this year, they’re over $27 mn richer; meaning they’ll just get bigger and stronger. Isn’t that reason enough to look up their current open positions? If we still need to push you over the edge where they’re concerned, well.. we’ll try to keep this short, but we make no promises. Dog-friendly offices, cool culture, capable and interesting coworkers, work hard and play hard, have jam sessions in the office, great pay masters, open door policies to senior management.. we could do this all day. Basically, if you want to be on the cutting edge, and be part of a great ever-growing, ever-changing company, we recommend you research SayMedia.
19. Single Platform: They’ve been named one of America’s most promising startups by Businessweek. And if you own a local small business, and are ready to disconnect your phone line to avoid calls from sales reps of daily deal sites, SinglePlatform will rescue you. Singleplatform allows you to manage your online, social, and mobile presence – this includes updating menus, adding specials and deals, and all other contact information. Isn’t that just so cool? Empowering Joe & Lucy who own the bakery down the street to get more customers and break their own popularity record. And for their awesomeness, SinglePlatform has grabbed the attention of many, but eventually it was ConstactContact went down on one knee and said all the right things. But is all that enough to reel you in? If not, here’s some more: uncapped commission for sales executives, interactions with top entrepreneurs and thought leaders, and generous health benefits. We are sold.
20. Trulia: This is a refined, polished and sophisticated weapon for some new-age home hunting. Trulia is Google search for homes. Get the scoop on the neighborhood, crime rates and schools where you found that perfect home. What makes it awesome? The home hunters don’t pay – it’s free! We’re very charmed how they’ve taken the painful concept of home hunting, and made it painless, and believe it or not, enjoyable. We will happily admit that we’re guilty of spending lunchtime scrolling through those wonderful homes. We also love how they’ve taken Facebook and made it a glorious feed of covetable homes and spaces. But while all that’s great, should you apply to work here? If you’re into weekly yoga, Wellness days, summer picnic parties, competitive Oreo eating contests, happy hours, impromptu sessions of friendly tug-of-war… you get the picture. Then, probably, yes. A fun culture sustained by no corporate BS makes Trulia a company you should totally want to sell for.
21. Yammer: Raise your hand if you’ve ever sacrificed productivity for endless back-and-forth emailing over a document that is being collaborated over with team members from various departments. Yes, we’ve been there and it’s been a disaster. Enter Yammer. It is a private social network just for your company. But it’s not just about sharing pictures of their workspaces, and or checking in to the “sales” floor. With a wonderful array of built-in apps, Yammer can do everything from give public kudos to the sales team of the week, to idea management, to content collaboration, to managing your travel plans. It’s a powerhouse. But it takes a powerhouse to run one. And Yammer knows how to keep their employee powerhouse going. Save money by bringing Fido to office instead of doggie daycare, save some more money by eating catered meals, save still more money by taking the onsite fitness classes and using public transportation, and spend all that money that you saved on your vacation. Which by the way, is unlimited – take it as you need it. And interestingly, they pay you to do all this! Fun team events and the association with talented, smart people should be a done deal. You really shouldn’t wait to check out their jobs listings, we think.
22. Yelp: The epitome of startup success, Yelp made itself a household name by taking reviews out of the hands of the haute taute and putting them square in our hands – literally. It is fairly common to see people wipping out their phone in the middle of a meal, snap a few pictures of their food and write a full fledged review on Yelp before chowing down. But Yelp has come a long way from its restaurant roots to now include shopping, local services, home services and so much more. Our favorite part about that? It includes reviews by users who’ve been brave enough to try things out and then recommend them. Or not. Yelp has been around for a while and is a public company, but prides itself on maintaining their startup culture.. and hence the Yelp kegerator, shiny computers and desks, Yelp off-sites (code word for awesome employee outings), the endless office parties, the bottomless kitchen and pantry.. the list could go on and on. I mean, have you seen their “Tricked-out NYC Office?’ We think anything that empowers local businesses and consumers alike deserves kudos. What do you have to be to get in here and be a part of Yelp? Be unboring. Get started with your resume, we suggest.
23. Yext: If you’re a small business, you’ve probably spent hours plugging in information about your business on various sites. We know it’s painful. But there’s a company that promises to make that process painless. Yext offers businesses a platform to instantly update their business information on a variety of local search sites, saving time, effort and money. So essentially, incorrect information about your business is going to be a thing of the past. They help your business get found. They also help their employees by giving them competitive salaries, office meals to stay nourished and fully-fed, office happy hours to make sure they stay happy, music in the office incase anyone feels the urge to do a little jig for no reason at all, go-getter co-workers to help keep the machine running.. they do it all. We suggest you click your way into their Careers section after you’re done reading this.
24. Yodle: 800 employees, Best place to work, multiple offices across the country, field trips and scavenger hunts, Halloween parties..Oh, and Superbowl representation. We feel like this is the beginning of a love affair. Taking the pain out of local search advertising, Yodle helps local businesses increase their visibility and conversions, measure their successes and watch their bank account balance grow. But to make this mean machine work, you need a force of some very talented people. Which Yodle has. What draws people to the company besides the company itself is… not a mystery. We have some ideas: free food, weekly contests where you can win some awesome prizes, gym memberships, 3 weeks of vacation (don’t scoff at us, we’re not lying!), uncapped commission for sales members (you’ve really go to stop with the scoffing!), and the ability to ring the gong! They’ve certainly got small businesses yodle-ing, are you joining the crowd yet? We certainly are.
25. ZenDesk: Customer service with a touch of class and zen, we say. A cloud-based customer service platform, the ZenDesk difference lies in enabling companies to listen, respond and delight their customers in ways that were impossible before. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices around the world, we’re particularly charmed by their impressive list of clients and their cheerful Buddhy, complete with a headset and all. But something even cooler about them is the company itself. Fully-stocked kitchen, Macbooks, healthcare benefits, weekly happy hours, annual soccer tournaments, and the occasional dog answering a customer support call.. you name it, they probably do it. We love companies that go the extra mile for their employees. We’ve come away charmed by the zen in your customer/employee service, ZenDesk!
26. Zocdoc: Move aside, quacks, Zocdoc is here to make the search for a doctor simple, easy and trustworthy. Based in NYC, Zocdoc attempts to disrupt the way we look and consult doctors, based on reviews and indepth profiles. But what gives us the fuzzies is that it allows users to book appointments instantly – for free. But we’re singing their praises for different reasons. Besides building a fantastic sales team, Zocdoc makes sure its employees never need to see a doctor. How, you ask? Healthy catered lunches, fresh fruits and the healthful benefit of hanging around happy, awesome people all day. If you’re worried about retirement options, or your immigration status, Zocdoc has it covered. Never let it be said that it is a company that doesn’t care about its employees. Oh, and did we mention that they let you take unlimited vacation days and never dictate how many hours you work every week? Yes, it is THAT awesome.
So, that was our short and awesome list of startups to sell for. There are many, many more reasons why these companies are great. But it’s mostly because, they have a great product and have passionate people that make the product better every single day. Just like these great startups, at Crunched, we’re passionate about making your online meeting experience fantastic and headache-free. Oh, and if your meetings feel suddenly super sexy, we take full responsibility. Check us out!