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Business Software Review Site G2 Crowd Launches with $2M in Funding

Provides Trusted Source for Peer Reviews to Help Businesses Compare and Select the Best Software; 2nd Generation Startup Co-Founded by Former BigMachines Execs

CHICAGO, Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Led by three former executives from SaaS pioneer BigMachines, G2 Crowd, a trusted site for business software reviews, today launched to help anyone, from end-users to CIOs, compare and select the best software based on authentic peer reviews and ratings. G2 Crowd provides a resource for businesses of all sizes to access unbiased, first-person insight and best practices to guide technology purchase decisions.

G2 Crowd brings the same highly valuable peer-review perspective that is widely available to consumers on sites such as Amazon and Yelp to the business software industry. G2 Crowd covers a wide range of both cloud and on-premise solutions, including CRM, marketing automation, ERP and accounting, HR management, CAD and IT infrastructure software, plus a wide range of hosting and IT consulting services. More than 2,000 professionals have already contributed over 10,000 ratings and reviews of 1,500 products and services.

Co-founded by serial entrepreneur Godard Abel and BigMachines colleagues Matt Gorniak and Tim Handorf, G2 Crowd is a second-generation startup, self-funded with proceeds from the successful sale of BigMachines to Vista Equity and JMI Equity. The trio grew BigMachines from scratch to more than $50 million in revenue and a valuation in excess of $100 million.

"After spending more than 15 years in the enterprise software industry, we grew frustrated by the inefficient software selection process, which relies primarily on inexperienced business users slogging through vendor spin, industry-sponsored white papers and dated analyst reports," said Abel.

Because most companies choose new systems only every few years, they lack the expertise to efficiently select the best software, and most have nowhere to turn for input from peers implementing similar systems for similar companies. Also, traditional technology analysts such as Gartner rely on a legacy model of highly paid experts publishing their opinions only every two years or so, with a focus on products from large vendors that are typically also clients of the same analysts. This process delays the emergence of more innovative solutions, and buyers might miss newer technologies that could be a better fit.

"G2 Crowd is consumerizing and democratizing technology buying and selling. Anyone with experience using a product now has a voice to contribute reviews and comments on G2 Crowd to help their peers," Abel said. "We are all accustomed to buying products this way in our consumer lives.  We trust peer reviews on sites like Amazon and Yelp to help us make personal purchasing decisions.  As we've developed G2 Crowd, we've often had people ask us, 'This makes so much sense; why hasn't it been done yet?'" 

One reason is the difficulty of developing a trustworthy system, which has been challenging on sites where reviewers can hide behind anonymous logins. To address this, G2 Crowd users are required to sign in with their LinkedIn credentials, and their profiles are viewable to the entire community to verify their identity, establish their expertise, and build their professional network, brand and reputation. Users are forbidden from reviewing their own company's products or those of direct competitors.  G2 Crowd doesn't sell leads or accept money for product placement from vendors, which further underscores the commitment to data quality and trust.

Users rate products based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) system, which asks how likely they are to recommend the product to a friend or colleague. Users can also share in-depth reviews of product features, customer service and usability, adding color commentary to the NPS rating and making it easy to compare software.

"Most users offer their reviews altruistically; they're eager to share their real-life experiences and knowledge with their peers and to help them avoid common pitfalls," Abel said. "It's a service they themselves want to have available, so they're more than happy to share their honest opinions with the global business community.  As a bonus, they gain recognition as an expert and can win cool tech prizes."

For vendors and analysts, G2 Crowd provides industry benchmarks and a valuable resource for comparing products. As part of today's launch, G2 Crowd released visual, real-time comparisons for all product categories into public beta. Also now available are premium subscriptions with access to downloadable data and research reports that include synthesized product comparisons as well as the ability to segment the data.

To begin contributing or reading business software reviews at G2 Crowd, go to www.g2crowd.com and connect with your LinkedIn account.

About G2 Crowd
G2 Crowd is a trusted site for business software reviews.  Business technology buyers use the site to compare and select the best software based on peer reviews.  Co-founded by the founder and former executives from SaaS leader BigMachines, G2 Crowd aims to bring authenticity and transparency to the business technology industry. For more information, go to www.g2crowd.com.

SOURCE G2 Crowd

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