The days are not far off when telling kids about the "old days" when we installed software on our computers using a series of CDs or 3.5" diskettes will become as difficult to meaningfully articulate as explaining what an 8-track audio tape looked like or how it operated.
Our movement toward software-as-a-service (SaaS) is clearly here to stay, though vestiges of machine-specific software installation are likely to remain with us for a few more years. Customers and businesses alike are increasingly grateful to be freed from the hassle of software installation, upgrades, and maintenance. Many, if not most, view this sort of licensing and troubleshooting task as little more than an unwanted interruption of their core mission.
While the Covid-19 pandemic created a tidal wave of disruption across just about every sector of the economy, disruptive technologies utilizing SaaS helped companies automate, accelerate, or otherwise conduct business in a challenging environment. Delivering software services online opened the door to new levels of innovation that are putting a dent in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Listed below are some of the top-performing companies that have received a great deal of industry attention - and in many cases, heightened interest from investors. These companies are shaking up sectors as diverse as finance, real estate, email, and information security. Here are ten companies to keep an eye on as the trend toward SaaS accelerates.
Over the past year, there's been a lot of excitement about increasing mergers and acquisitions and special purpose acquisitions company (SPAC) activity. Obviously, these business deals require a great deal of confidence and discretion to move forward. More than one promising deal has been scuttled by a data leak. Remote deal-making can lead to security risks if sensitive information isn't protected properly.
As of this writing, CapLinked is the leader for providing secure virtual data rooms to investment firms, banks, and advisors. This provides them with a place to review and share potentially sensitive documents without fear that they will be compromised.
Stampli specializes in accounts payable automation. This helps businesses organize, track, and quickly pay vendor invoices. Offloading the routine and mundane tasks tied to accounts payable frees up AP staff to focus on vendor relations, cost-saving measures, and other efficiencies that contribute to a healthier bottom line.
Stampli's services saw increased demands as remote work added an additional layer of complexity to the task of keeping AP employees looped into expenditures. As just one measure of its increased market share, Stampli recently announced closing a $50M Series C round.
The need to prevent email servers from being hacked or otherwise exploited has perhaps never been greater than it is right now. MimeCast is a cloud-based email management company specializing in security with its base of operations in New Jersey. The company had its original IPO in 2015. Since then, they've bolstered their presence with a total of seven takeovers.
Currently, given the increased need for data security, the overwhelming consensus is that investors should take a closer look. In addition to the increasing demand for email security options, the ongoing trend toward remote work makes it clear that MimeCast would likely be a valuable investment.
eCommerce grew by leaps and bounds in 2020, and that shows no signs of slowing down in 2021. Now that many companies are creating or expanding their online presence, Riskified has become even more relevant in a global marketplace.
This service provider offers chargeback and fraud prevention technology to eCommerce companies. Riskified technology helps save companies from losses due to fraudulent orders. As of now, the company hasn't confirmed a date, but they are considering a 2021 IPO.
Boutique security companies such as Ping Identity continue to be hot. In a world where an increasing amount of money is moving from one hand to another online, it's become critical to be able to verify that someone with whom we are considering doing business is exactly who they say they are.
Ping Identity offers identity verification services to digital enterprises. In June 2021, the company announced a follow-on offering of common stocks. Expect Ping and other identity-verification services to become key players in the digital shopping realm.
DXC Technology is a multinational company that offers business modernization and other digital transformation services. The company specializes in offering independent, end-to-end solutions for any type of business looking to modernize its operations.
As the pandemic prompted more companies to increase their digital offerings, it is easy to see why DXC and companies that offer similar services are making inroads.
Limelight Networks is a content delivery network (CDN) provider. They provide services that allow brands to deliver web content quickly and efficiently. The ability to rapidly deploy web content that spurs interest and sales will continue to be in high demand as companies globalize and increase their eCommerce efforts.
At the same time, Limelight's performance has been somewhat lackluster. They haven't executed as well as their competitors, and their stock prices have not met expectations. That said, those low stock prices combined with the growth of CDN overall could mean a great opportunity for another tech firm or investment group to make a move.
The pandemic drove a lot of new interest in cryptocurrencies. However, executing secure trades is something that can be challenging for the unfamiliar user.
In response to the increased demand to enter into online trading, platforms such as Gemini have become exceptionally popular. In this case, the company has grown to more than $10 billion in digital assets.
Unlike many of the brands on this list, Form Factor has been publicly traded since 2003. Over the past 18 years, it's been a solid enterprise winning awards and growing. However, over the last three years, the company has made several acquisitions. That increasing growth is something that investors should pay attention to.