Scratchpad, a California based startup, recently announced the close of their $3.6M seed round led by Accel with participation from Shrug Capital and Sound Ventures. Scratchpad was founded with the goal of streamlining data entry for CRM tools like Salesforce by creating a workspace that sits on top of the user’s CRM. With 1000’s of users already signed up, Scratchpad plans to use this funding round to expand its team.
Why this transaction?
The York IE team chose this as our transaction of the week to discuss the trend of SaaS companies building solutions to enhance larger platforms like Salesforce and HubSpot. Scratchpad has built a solution that integrates into a customer’s existing Salesforce to automate tasks like data entry and reduce the overall time spent updating their CRM database. An interesting aspect to note is that, so far, Scratchpad has dedicated their focus solely to Salesforce rather than other CRM platforms like Hubspot or Insightly. The York IE team believes that by diversifying their suite of integrations Scratchpad could become a more useful and expansive tool for its users and be better defended against competition. It will be interesting to see how Scratchpad’s solution evolves and if they will begin to integrate with more CRMs or other platforms frequented by salespeople.
The Age of Automation
The idea of automating tasks is not a new one, businesses have been experimenting with new technologies that accelerate workflows for years. Recently though, we have seen a shift towards automation in workflows for sales teams with solutions like Scratchpad, Salesforce and many others. Companies are no longer wasting countless hours every year on meaningless time-consuming tasks like data entry; with the help of these new solutions, sales teams are able to spend less time sifting through documents and spreadsheets and more time doing what is really important, selling. To see just how popular this trend has been the York IE team compiled data on funding for sales automation companies:
The graph above shows the growing trend of sales automation going back as far as 2011 reaching its peak year in 2018. As we can see from the data, the number of sales automation tools on the market are a clear indicator of the existing demand for useful solutions that fit the customer’s specific needs.