Have you ever wanted to know what tools and systems other companies use? Phone systems? CMS options? Billing services? etc. The logisitics of setting up a company’s infrastructure can be a painful process. BestVendor, a New York City startup in its own right, is building a Yelp-like resource for business products by harnessing social recommendations to help small businesses make faster, smarter purchasing.
Over the last two months, BestVendor surveyed 550s startups about their most used business products and services. The results show the increasing popularity of Google’s as Google Analytics and Gmail snagged the top two spots, respectively, for the most popular startup tools. In fact, BestVendor found that 70% of startup execs use Google Analytics. The survey also uncovered hidden gems like IdeaPaint, a tool that turns your walls into white boards and HipChat, a chat tool for businesses.
Here be gadgets
Not here exactly, but on our new hardware site Plugged.
“It’s a give-to-get community,” explains Jeff Giesea, the CEO of BestVendor. In order to access the site, you must contribute a review. In exchange for sharing a few tools you use in your business, you can browse other companies and people to see what they’re using in theirs- for free. You can filter results by industry, company size or by your social network. Giesea plans to leverage this data set to provide rankings of product categories like collaboration software, web hosting providers, or payroll providers based on what others use and recommend.
BestVendor’s founders have significant experience connecting buyers and sellers of business products. CEO Jeff Giesea, who started the company in January, previously founded B2B media and lead-generation business FierceMarkets, which he sold in 2008. Co-Founders Ben Zhuk (head of product) and Magnus von Koeller (head of engineering) are recent graduates of Columbia Business School with extensive backgrounds in product development and engineering, respectively.
“Our vision is to become the first place people turn whenever they need to figure out what to buy for their business, much like Amazon is for books and Yelp is for restaurants,” said Giesea. “In turn, we’ll be a highly efficient customer acquisition vehicle for vendors.”
Just today, it released the results of its “2011 Startup Toolkit Survey” on the most popular products and providers used by startups with up to 100 employees.
The 10 most popular startup tools are:
1. Google Analytics (Web Analytics)
2. Gmail (Email)
3. Quickbooks (Accounting)
4. American Express (Company Credit Card)
5. Salesforce.com (CRM)
6. Dropbox (Storage)
7. Evernote (Note-taking)
8. Basecamp (Project Management)
9. MailChimp (Email Marketing)
10. Amazon Web Service (Web Hosting)
The findings also show the distribution of market share within specific categories. The five categories most dominated by a single company include:
- Web design (Adobe)
- Web Analytics (Google)
- Accounting (Quickbooks
- Hardware (Apple)
- CRM (Salesforce.com).
Other interesting results:
- 27% of startup execs use PayPal for payment processing.
- 57% use Google Apps.
- 71% of startup execs use QuickBooks for accounting
- 59% of startup execs use Salesforce for CRM.
- 39% of startup execs use Dropbox for storage.
- 43% of startup execs use AmEx for their company credit card.
- Bank of America is leading bank used by startups, with 19% using it.
- MailChimp is leading email marketing system for startups, with 30% using it.
The Startup Toolkit Survey is part of a larger effort by BestVendor to bring transparency and openness to the business purchasing process. The full results are available on the BestVendor blog here. The company will soon release a Quora-like platform so you can ask a question to someone in your social network and invite them to answer it within BestVendor.
“It’s time to put an end to the era of too-little information when deciding what to buy for your business,” said CEO Jeff Giesea. “Business people deserve a single destination for peer recommendations and user reviews.”
BestVendor, which hopes to fulfill that role, is in Alpha launch right now. To be specific, it’s currently in the second phase of its three-phase Alpha product: “Bullet”, which is right after Moonshine and right before Blue Label. Beta signup is available on its site and will likely open in the fall.
BestVendor raised $600,000 in a seed round at the end of June. The round was led by SoftBank Capital and Lerer Ventures and also included Silicon Valley super-angels SVAngel and Peter Thiel.