I like news of this sort. It makes me believe that larger enterprise vendors are still ripe for usurping because of the history they’re tied to. I’ve said a few times that resting on your laurels will come round to bite you on the ass as startups launch with leaner ways of doing things.
And so enters in the fray NumberFour, a company that has managed to secure $38m in Series A funding before even launching.
NumberFour’s vision is that in 10 years the majority of small businesses around the world will enjoy similar efficiencies and scale effects to those that large enterprises possess – fast, easy and affordable.
We are starting with a great collection of small, versatile apps that come together in a single business platform.
These apps can be assembled one at a time, choosing just the ones needed to get the job done. Additional apps can be added later at any time and on demand. Behind the scenes, the NumberFour business platform keeps the system running at all times and connects the dots, so the focus can stay on what matters most: running the business, and making it better.
This suggests that NumberFour will cover productivity, communication, sales, production, procurement, delivery, reservation and financial tools, and run on smartphones, tablets and the web and they additionally describe the solution as an “open software platform for business application development”, which suggests they plan to release APIs.
Admittedly it’s all still vaporware as nobody has seen anything yet but what’s interesting is the target market; small businesses that are traditionally ignored by medium to large enterprise software vendors because they’re not deemed big enough for licence sales. NumberFour estimates there are over 200 million small businesses worldwide and that those with under 20 employees make up 90 per cent of businesses globally.
(If you do a little digging you’ll find that Marco Boerries was not the original CEO at NumberFour and before he took the reigns Andre Bajorats was at the helm. If you look over his website www.paymentandbanking.com you might get more insight.)
And that could cause a stir because from small acorns mighty oak trees grow as they say, NumberFour could potentially steal a large chunk of an ignored market very quickly and then scale up from that success to challenge the dominant and somewhat bloated players in traditional industry verticals like CRM and BPM. Salesforce, Oracle, Pega and IBM are certainly not immune to being challenged in this way if they rest on their laurels.
Bring on the disruption because three is no longer the magic number.