Austin, Texas-based TrustRadius is setting out to "transform the way businesses buy enterprise software."
In the consumer world, recommendation sites like Yelp, Angie's List and TripAdvisor help shoppers gravitate toward providers of quality services and maximize their budgets. So, TrustRadius asks, why shouldn't the same system work for buyers of enterprise software?
In bringing professional, from-the-trenches wisdom to IT decision makers, the startup raised $5 million in a Series A round of financing from the Mayfield Fund. In a statement, TrustRadius CEO and co-founder Vinay Bhagat said that his company's crowdsourced approach to evaluating enterprise software helped his company attract fresh capital. "Mayfield shares our vision which is to empower enterprise technology buyers and users everywhere in a way that will forever change the way technology is bought and sold," he said.
Before TrustRadius, Bhagat founded Convio, a provider of online fundraising and customer relationship (CRM) software for non-profits, and served as its chief strategy officer. Convio went public in 2010 and was acquired by rival Blackbaud in 2012 for $325 million.
In the competitive enterprise IT market -- which the firm pegs at $3.8 trillion annually -- authority and trust play a major role, according to the firm.
TrustRadius suggests that vendors and their bulging marketing budgets won't be able to game the system. Its platform levels the playing field by providing enterprise software purchasers with "authenticated, objective, peer reviews of popular solutions for managing virtually every aspect of an organization's operations."
Additionally, TrustRadius assures that its ratings offer a good mix of perspectives and cover hundreds of software products ranging from marketing and business intelligence to HR and finance. Reviews are provided by the front-line users, mid-level managers and even C-level execs, and flow in from businesses of all sizes, from small startups to big firms like Dell.
Reviews, the result of a 40-question online interview, are examined by company analysts. TrustRadius also hosts community discussions to help members explore their options more fully. Finally, the company facilitates virtual introductions with LinkedIn Connect, allowing members to gather additional insights from reviewers.
Mayfield Fund partner Rajeev Batra believes that it's time enterprise IT buyers benefit from some of the tech that's revolutionizing shopping for consumers.
"Software, Big Data and content are already transforming the marketing landscape and enabling a new generation of marketers to connect with their consumers in an authentic and highly personal manner. Now, TrustRadius is emerging as the definitive community that will disrupt how businesses buy enterprise software and IT products," said Batra in a statement.
TrustRadius is not the only company offering peer-based reviews of enterprise software. A startup called G2 Crowd provides a service that ranks software based on peer reviews and social data from sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Glassdoor,
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.