Betting on the gaps in Salesforce's suite

Meliza Solan Surdi · March 27, 2009 · Short URL:

Why Jason Green of Emergence Capital invested in Maxplore, an app built on top of

In this segment, Bambi Francisco interviews Jason Green,co-founder of Emergence Capital which is a Silicon Valley based venture capital firm.

(Here is the edited version of the interview)

BF: We're talking about a company called Maxplore which is what you recently invested in and during this time it's a surprise that any VC actually had the conviction to make an investment. So what was it about Maxplore that was so intriguing that made you put in $2 million dollars?

JG: It's our most recent investment. We are very proud of this investment. It was actually a year long process of identifying Maxplore because we worked with Salesforce to identify the leading application being built on top of their platform called This is a whole new trend called cloud computing, which is enabling you to build software businesses without ever owning a server basically. So what intrigued us was you had a handful of guys who really had a domain expertise around a very high-value business application, in this case it's field service automation. Companies like Clarify and Vantive, were billion-dollar companies in the client-server area. This is the next generation of those kinds of opportunities.

BF: Who are the other players besides Maxplore in this next generation?

JG: Well there really aren't any, which is one of the things that attracted us to it. They're really competing with traditional enterprise software applications. These are companies that are now part of Oracle or SAP, and Salesforce needs field-service applications. So this is a perfect opportunity for Maxplore.

BF: And how big is this industry?

JG: It's a multi-billion dollar market opportunity. As I mentioned, several leading client servers that went public 10 years ago, were in this area.

BF: But did they just focus in this area or did they branch out into other areas?

JG: This is initially a kind of beachhead for Maxplore in the field-service applications. More broadly, it's customer service, and a multi-billion dollar opportunity.

BF: Is there a relationship that you're going to create with Salesforce? Like a partnership for this company to get distribution?

JG:  Absolutely. There are two major points. The first is the platform. So immeditaly these guys are selling into Europe, Saudi Arabia, Latin America, and the reason they can do that is that they have a global, redundant, reliable high performance platform building on So they've got technology leverage and more importantly they've got this distribution leverage selling into existing customers that have already bought in to the SaaS models so you're not convincing SaaS. They already have a CRM solution so they know that customer support is important. And field service is a siginficant gap that Salesforce has.

BF: Well clearly you are excited about this company.

JG: Yes. We've spent a lot of time looking for the best company to bet on in the platform and we've made two investments and we are excited about both. The other one is called Verticals onDemand and it's selling to the healthcare/pharma area. One of the things we look at is where is the sales and marketing efficiency come from. What's exciting to us about this company is that they've got a team with a lot of domain expertise in the pharma area and they are selling to the largest companies in the world because of their ability to leverage that platform.

BF: And leverage their relationship with you because now you've given them a big plug on VatorNews.

JG: I hope so.

BF: Thanks for sharing your investments with us and good luck with those investments, Jason.

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