Today, Intelis Capital is excited to announce our seed investment in Wndyr ( \\ ˈwən-dər \\), a company providing operational clarity to businesses by helping them become more efficient with the tech stack they already have in place.
Socrates is credited with the quote “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom,” and we believe wisdom is exactly what Wndyr will bring to companies who have trouble understanding how they use software. Below are just a few of the many reasons we are excited to welcome Wndyr to the team.
1) Claire and team
When I first met Claire, I was struck by her experience and clarity of vision when it comes to the future of customer success and change management. However, I must admit I left our initial meeting a little unsure of what exactly Wndyr did but impressed with Claire. Wanting to learn more and gain clarity around the product, I asked Claire to come by our offices and present to Jonathan and Kevin; fortunately for us, she accepted. Over the next 8 weeks, we got to know Claire, her co-founder Tracey, and her team through both direct interactions and speaking with their customers.
Some of the words that were used to describe them: committed, best-in-class, listeners, curious, open to learning, determined, thoughtful and intensely passionate. In the following weeks, we learned more about the state of SaaS and customer success from the team than I thought was possible. Their vision for the role Wndyr would play in the future of SaaS had us hooked, especially when we saw how they executed against the vision day in and day out.
2) The aging workforce in large industries is a rapidly approaching problem
Several of America's largest industries are facing the challenge of an aging workforce leaving them with a shortage of employees in crucial roles over the next decade. This raises four critical questions for those industries: how to capture the knowledge of workers nearing retirement, what skills gaps will be created, can those skills gaps be automated, and do the industries have software to handle the excess capacity of work that could be placed on the remaining workforce?
Unsurprisingly, we believe Wndyr can play a huge role in answering all four of these questions.
Additionally, the US isn't the only country facing the pressure of an aging workforce. In the UK alone, over 50% of the workforce in key infrastructure industries such as water, power, and transportation are within 10 years of retirement age. Given these figures, it's not surprising businesses in massive industries are seeking solutions to solve this looming problem.
3) Productivity is shrinking in large industries critical to the function of the macroeconomy
The United States, and the world for that matter, appear to have a productivity problem. US productivity grew a measly 0.1% in 2015. Perhaps more surprising, that is ABOVE average for both developed nations and the world as a whole.
A deeper dive into the US statistics shows that productivity growth is being dampened by a few of our largest industries which I've highlighted in the table below. The defining characteristic of the industries listed here is they all lag severely behind in the adoption of technology.
These industries will likely be forced to evolve into more digitized businesses over the coming decade much in the way advanced manufacturing and ICT have in the last 5-10 years. We believe a digital revolution is coming in these fields and tools like Wndyr will be required for deployment scale, speed and accuracy.
4) Businesses are now over-subscribed to and under-utilizing SaaS products
All businesses are now technology companies in one form or another and the result is almost all firms are inundated with an abundance of software that is being either underutilized or unnecessary. We've seen a new wave of companies being built to help manage licenses, increase the likelihood of customer success, and provide analytics to the SaaS companies themselves much in the same way a Mixpanel or Optimizely do for websites.
Given that 1,000 new SaaS companies are formed each year, we believe this opportunity will continue to expand while forcing incumbents to better serve their customers to remain competitive.
The winner in this space will help end-users SOLVE the problem, not just manage it, while still helping SaaS companies perform at their optimal level.
We are proud to partner with Claire, Tracey and the rest of the Wndyr team as they help bring next-generation wisdom to companies navigating today's cluttered and inefficient SaaS landscape.