5 Enterprise Startups to Watch in 2015

October 10, 2014

9:00 am

Enterprise might just be the most exciting area in tech today. While enterprise isn’t always as flashy as consumer-facing services, enterprise startups have the potential to not only reach profitability more quickly, but to also create groundbreaking solutions on a large scale.

A good enterprise startup has the potential to transform how an entire industry does business — and, in turn, change how consumers interact with these industries.

Here are a few of my favorite enterprise startups you should be watching and why I think they’re excellent examples of what enterprise startups can achieve.

1. ChowNow

What it is: It’s a CRM solution that gives restaurants the power to accept online orders via mobile and desktop.

Why it stands out: Businesses don’t have the time to try out products that don’t have a clear impact on the bottom line. But by providing a new way for restaurants to accept orders and increase revenue, ChowNow shows its value from day one.

It doesn’t just deliver custom apps and the capability to accept orders through Facebook; ChowNow also makes sure integrating with current POS systems is hassle-free by giving restaurants a separate tablet that’s not linked to the current POS system. This way, restaurants can be up and running with ChowNow in a matter of days.

2. DataRPM

What it is: It’s a natural-language search provider for large databases. It works as an instant business analytics platform for both internal and external customers.

Why it stands out: DataRPM provides powerful technology that’s also easy to use. While most companies strive for the holy grail of data analysis, few are able to pull it off. DataRPM doesn’t require knowledge of SQL or other databases, so even non-technical employees can access the data they need.

3. CirroSecure 

What it is: It’s a cloud security platform focused specifically on monitoring cloud applications.

Why it stands out: CirroSecure is focusing on a sector that is still in its infancy but growing at a remarkable rate. By recognizing businesses’ need to monitor and manage the security of cloud applications, both internally and externally, CirroSecure has been able to get ahead of the competition to serve a ravenous customer base.

4. Skubana

What it is: It’s an all-in-one, channel-agnostic enterprise planning solution for e-commerce companies.

Why it stands out: Skubana is a product based on firsthand experience with other ERP solutions. Chad Rubin, founder and CEO of Skubana, took the knowledge he gained from running other e-commerce companies and created a product that solved the exact pain points he and other e-commerce retailers faced.

By truly understanding its target audience, Skubana created a product that makes itself essential to e-commerce workflows — not just convenient.

5. KEYPR

What it is: It’s a cloud-based management solution for the hotel industry.

Why it stands out: Before it began, KEYPR identified two major barriers to getting hotels to implement its system: high upfront costs and conflicts with existing systems. To combat these problems, KEYPR created an end-to-end solution that could take over every step of the process and offered hotels the hardware for free. Choosing to make the money back over time through subscription costs is a brilliant model that has made KEYPR more attractive than its competitors from the start.

The enterprise world is full of possibility for entrepreneurs who understand their target audience and can create a solution that demonstrates ROI from day one. While not every startup will succeed in this sector, those who provide a clear value proposition have the potential to revolutionize an entire industry and change the way we do business.

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TX Zhuois a managing partner of Karlin Ventures, an L.A.-based venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage enterprise software, e-commerce, and marketplaces. Follow the company on Twitter.

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