You might think companies that provide services to other businesses are a little... boring. Fusty. Unglamorous. After all, how can you become a household name if your brand isn’t plastered across consumer products in physical and digital shopping carts across the country?
But you’d be wrong in that assumption. In many ways, B2B services are the engine rooms of business, providing the commercial and operational foundations for the brands consumers know and love. And as B2B businesses leverage the full power of technologies like artificial intelligence, big data and the cloud, the field is only heating up from here.
Funding: $61.6 million
In the business of: Network security
How they do it: ExtraHop’s platform uses a real-time stream processor that organizes the data running through a business’ network into structured wire data, allowing security teams a real-time window into the systems they’re protecting. Combined with machine learning, these analytics are applied to every business transaction, allowing security and IT teams to detect anomalies automatically. These anomalies may betray unwanted intrusions like command and control activity, internal reconnaissance, port scans, data exfiltration and lateral movement. ExtraHop works with companies like Microsoft, Sony, Adobe and DIRECTV — and just signed a partnership with CISCO last year.
In the business of: Marketing
How they do it: Yesler looks to combine creative, strategy and technology in the building of effective B2B marketing campaigns — and it all starts with the conviction that “B2B marketing doesn’t have to be boring.” In addition to the traditional marketing staples — forming strategy, creating content and measuring results — the company takes a holistic approach and dives deep into infrastructure, project management and operations. Yesler has worked with Google, Salesforce and SAP, along with locals like Xbox, Amazon, Zillow and Tableau. The company has offices in Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, Toronto, London and Singapore, and was (bonus history alert) named after Henry Yesler, one of Seattle’s first entrepreneurs. Yesler (the man) built a sawmill at the foot of what is now Yesler Way and, in doing so, gave the city its first water system way back in 1854.
Funding: $37 million
In the business of: Collecting and making sense of data
How they do it: Amperity collects disparate chunks of data from across the internet and, using artificial intelligence, pieces that data together into fully-formed customer profiles. This means businesses can make decisions and build products based on granular data rather than rely on the birds-eye view provided by graphs and figures. Before Amperity, co-founders Kabir Shahani and Derek Slager worked together at healthcare marketing software startup Appature, which was acquired by New York’s IMS Health in 2013.
In the business of: Consulting
How they do it: Logic20/20’s team of business and technology consultants leverage their collective experience in a variety of industries to help businesses adopt new technologies, collect and act on data, streamline their usages of cloud services and even recover from digital disasters. The company was among the first to adopt machine learning and cloud technologies to help analyze market size. In addition to their Seattle headquarters, the company has offices in San Jose and just over the Cascades in Wenatchee.
In the business of: Seeking new customers for their clients
How they do it: Known as iDatalabs until last week, Enlyft uses artificial intelligence and big data to help businesses seek out and acquire customers. The Bellevue company feeds a company’s sales conversion data through its models — or does the same for a competitor’s data — and produces reports that highlight individual sales leads. The company also helps tailor sales and marketing strategies for each prospective account and designs its data to better suit its artificial intelligence, which, it says, provides higher quality reports. Before starting Enlyft, founder Lokesh Dave worked at gaming company Zynga, and also held a 12 year stint at Microsoft.