Smart investors are betting big on business technology.
Sure, all the buzz goes to consumer-focused companies like Facebook and Zynga. But while those companies’ post-IPO performance has been tepid at best, enterprise startups have been quietly kicking ass.
In 2012 alone, acquisitions in the billion-dollar range include Meraki (acquired by Cisco), Yammer (acquired by Microsoft), and Quest (acquired by Dell). In addition, SAP closed its $3.4 billion acquisition of SuccessFactors, and human resources software maker Workday held a stellar IPO.
The investors behind these and other enterprise startups are a different breed: Not as flashy and more technically savvy than the average venture capitalist.
These investors are looking for small startups that are trying to sell innovative technology to the world’s largest organizations. The best of them have a real shot at knocking out giant incumbents like Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle, and winning billions of dollars in revenue.
As one of them, investor Ping Li, put it, startups are winning because they are creating “Apple-like experiences for business users.”
But how do you get the attention of enterprise investors? (And how do you compete with them?) You’ve got to start by knowing what makes each of them tick.