Vivun Announces Series B Led by Menlo Ventures, with strategic investment from Salesforce and Atlassian

Matt Darrow Matt Darrow

Today, I am thrilled to announce that Vivun has closed $35M in Series B funding to accelerate our vision to help enterprises unlock the strategic potential of PreSales and find product-market fit faster.  

After spending a career building PreSales and Product Management teams, my co-founders John Bruce, Dominique Darrow, Claire Bruce, Joseph Miller and I set out in late 2018 to create an entirely new enterprise software category for PreSales.  Our Seed round in September 2019 enabled us to bring our first product, Hero by VIvun®, to market while signing up customers who shared our vision. The pull from the market we experienced across unicorns like Harness and enterprises like Dell led to our $18M Series A in September 2020.

Four months later, here we are again.  After capping a fiscal year of 8X ARR growth and tripling our team, global pandemic or not, PreSales has arrived.

The market opportunity wasn’t always so obvious.  When we were raising our Seed round in 2019, over 50% of investors we approached thought PreSales was synonymous with Sales Development—the people who generate pipeline and talk to prospects “before sales.”  That literal interpretation of the profession illustrated just how misunderstood this department was and the enormous greenfield B2B enterprise opportunity presenting itself.

Flying under the radar for decades, PreSales professionals have many titles—Sales Engineer, Solution Consultant, Solution Architect, etc. Behind every one to two sales account executives you can expect to find someone in PreSales, the biggest B2B department you’ve never heard of.  

And PreSales is on the rise. Enterprises like Google and Salesforce can’t hire them fast enough, while startups can’t survive without them. This wasn’t always the case. In the last 5 years the demand for the role has exploded.  The perception is shifting from the sales “demo resource” to a strategic pillar of any modern company.  

This is what changed.

Every company in every industry will become a software company (if they haven’t made the shift already).  I saw this clearly during my time at subscription billing leader Zuora as companies from every industry were launching new software-driven services and monetizing them via subscription business models.  

That software has never been more sophisticated, agile, or accessible.  From embedded artificial intelligence / machine learning (AI/ML) to continuous integration / continuous deployment (CI/CD) practices to managed infrastructure and freemium business models, the software delivered by winning companies today is unrecognizable from the perpetual license or customized SaaS models of the past.  

The result?  B2B buyer expectations have changed for good; the modern sales process has yet to catch up.  Tired of buying “shelfware” and managing an endless stream of customizations, today’s B2B buyer is not only informed, but they already have access to the technology under evaluation.  This shifts the center of gravity in the entire buying process from relationships with the sales account executive to the product, its capabilities, and its ability to support the business’ objectives.  

Enter PreSales—technical experts who are on the hook for driving revenue and retiring a quota. Who better to work with prospective buyers when they have access to the technology under evaluation? This is the reason companies like Atlassian, who famously went public without a single sales person, are building their first PreSales teams.  Even companies who sell seemingly “simple” products such as Zoom are growing their PreSales teams by orders of magnitude. 

The problem for PreSales is simple. The role has changed, it is in high demand, has no signs of slowing down, yet it is the only B2B department without technology dedicated to their success.  That’s why we created Vivun.  My co-founder John Bruce and I lived these challenges first hand on our respective runs at SignalFx ($1 Billion + acquisition by Splunk) and Zuora (IPO). Our mission is simple, make PreSales the most strategic asset at your company.  

Our flagship product Hero by Vivun® is the world’s first PreSales Management platform.  Just like PreSales, Hero sits at the intersection of Product and Sales, with deep integrations into systems like Salesforce and Jira (Atlassian). Welcoming both Salesforce and Atlassian as Vivun investors is incredibly exciting as it validates how the needs of PreSales are distinct from current solutions in the market, yet the power of a joint solution is undeniable. Simply put, Hero enables PreSales to manage and scale their teams while distributing their critical intelligence across their organizations. Intelligence regarding:

  • The accuracy of the sales forecast through the industry’s first “technical conscience” of a deal.
  • What it takes to win—not just get in the deal—through the industry’s first PreSales analytics.
  • Product-market fit through the industry’s first shared platform between The Field and Product to create a seamless interlock between the teams who build products and those who sell them.

We deliver these outcomes on our AI-Powered platform, which has been put through the security wringer to obtain the SOC 2 Type 2 and ISO 27001 certifications every enterprise demands.

The personal outcomes we drive are rewarding.  Seeing PreSales leaders in our customer base be promoted, becoming peers with executives in sales and product, even stepping into new titles such as “Field CTOs.”  The business outcomes we drive are transformational; we see companies tap into millions of dollars of net new ACV with enhanced product-market fit, or increasing their bookings attainment through smarter resourcing and deal strategy.  

Even though the profession has been around for decades, the transformation is just getting underway. We’re thrilled to be at the epicenter, providing technology to enable this department and our customers. I clearly see the following as inevitable:

  • In high volume market segments, the sales account executive and PreSales engineer role will become one. 
  • PreSales will “never end” and will naturally consume the traditional “Customer Success Manager” role.  
  • The companies that will survive and thrive into the future will have the tightest alignment between the field and product.

As fired up as we are? We’re growing fast. Check out our careers page if you’re up for the challenge of creating this category and reshaping B2B enterprises. 

Matt Darrow Matt Darrow February 9, 2021