8 Enterprise Startups Founded By Ex-Salesforce Employees

Salesforce.com is arguably one of the most influential enterprise tech companies in the world.

Founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com is best known for its customer relationship management (CRM) software.

It posted a little over $US4 billion in revenue last year, and has a market cap of $US34.6 billion. With roughly 10,000 employees, it’s the largest tech employer in San Francisco.
Salesforce.com was also named #1 on Forbes’ “Most Innovative Companies” list for four consecutive years.

But for all of its success over the years, Salesforce.com employees have only founded a handful of startups. We’re not sure why this is the case, but it might be because not many employees leave there, as it’s repeatedly ranked one of the best companies to work for.

We’ve put together 8 of the more interesting startups launched by ex-Salesforce.com employees through the years.

Okta - Todd McKinnon

Okta CEO Todd McKinnon

Company: Okta

Founded: 2008

What it does: Cloud/mobile identity management software

Funding so far: $155 million

Role at Salesforce.com: As senior VP of engineering, McKinnon grew his his team from 15 to 250 engineers. McKinnon said he loved his job at Salesforce, but saw a huge opportunity in cloud password management that he couldn't pass up. Benioff wasn't too happy and turned down an offer to invest early in Okta.

Zuora - Tien Tzou

Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo

Company: Zuora

Founded: 2007

What it does: Cloud billing and invoicing for recurring revenue businesses

Funding so far: $127.5 million

Role at Salesforce.com: Tzou was Salesforce.com's employee #11 and its first Chief Marketing Officer. Benioff did invest in Zuora when Tzou left Salesforce.com in 2008.

Heresay Social - Clara Shih

Heresay Social CEO Clara Shih

Company: Heresay Social

Founded: 2009

What it does: Provides software for financial services teams to better-use social media to boost sales and productivity

Funding so far: $51 million

Role at Salesforce.com: Shih was the first product marketer of AppExchange, the business app store from salesforce.com. She was the product line manager overseeing product marketing and data analytics. She's also the author of NY Times best seller, 'The Facebook Era.'

Connery Consulting - Nancy Connery

Connery Consulting Founding Principal Nancy Connery

Company: Connery Consulting

Founded: 2007

What it does: HR advisory services focused on tech and financial markets

Funding so far: N/A

Role at Salesforce.com: Connery was one of the first 10 employees at Salesforce.com. As the founding VP of Human Resources there, she was responsible for recruiting more than 650 employees. Based on her experience running all of recruiting and HR at Salesforce.com, Connery founded Connery Consulting with another Salesforce.com alum, Thanh Nguyen.

Cloudwords - Scott Yancey

Cloudwords CEO Scott Yancey

Company: Cloudwords

Founded: 2010

What it does: Cloud-based marketing software that simplifies localisation by translating any type of content or document.

Funding so far: $2.4 million

Role at Salesforce.com: Yancey started his career managing the salesforce.com website, before eventually becoming senior product engineer there. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Okta CEO Todd McKinnon have invested in Cloudwords.

Full Circle CRM - Bonnie Carter

Full Circle CRM Founderand CEO Bonnie Crater

Company: Full Circle CRM

Founded: 2010

What it does: Provides marketing performance management solutions for Salesforce marketing users

Funding so far: $500K

Role at Salesforce.com: Carter was senior VP of service and support at Salesforce.com. She realised the need for a more data-driven approach to marketing, so she built Full Circle CRM on top of the salesforce.com platform.

Saleshood - Elay Cohen

Saleshood CEO Elay Cohen

Company: Saleshood

Founded: 2013

What it does: Saleshood is a subscription service providing real life sales best practices, and a platform for meeting other sales professionals

Funding so far: N/A

Role at Salesforce.com: Cohen was in charge of creating and executing all sales productivity programs at Salesforce.com, which grew from a $US500 million to $US3 billion enterprise during his stay. He was named the company's '2011 Top Executive.'

GetFeedback - Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley

GetFeedback co-founders Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley

Company: GetFeedback

Founded: 2013

What it does: Online survey software that helps create visually rich, engaging online polls

Funding so far: $2.3 million

Role at Salesforce.com: Swensrud was the chief marketing officer at Salesforce.com, but left after six years with Whiteley, who was senior VP at the time, with the vision of creating a modern survey marketing software.

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