$13m funding for Scratchpad – a data input startup whose sole strength is pointing out Salesforce's weaknesses

Huh, where's our $13m then?


Scratchpad, a startup based around easing Salesforce data input, has snared $13m in new funding, apparently without even really wanting to.

In a blog, the business equivalent to the suckerfish announced new funding led by David Sacks at Craft Ventures, with Accel continuing to participate after leading its seed round last year.

"While the new capital itself is important for our ability to invest in product development to make Scratchpad even better and faster for our users, the truly exciting part is the opportunity to partner with the best folks in the industry on our journey," founder and CEO Pouyan Salehi fizzed.

Showing staggering nonchalance, he later bragged to Techcrunch that he wasn't even really looking for the money.

"To be honest, it actually wasn't on our radar to raise again so soon after we raised what I consider a substantial seed. We had plenty of runway, but we started to see a lot of bottom-up user growth, this bottom-up motion just really started to take hold."

While Salesforce might welcome Scratchpad's efforts to improve the salesperson's experience, it's hard to see Scratchpad's progress as anything other than a slight against Salesforce's usability, something the $200bn market cap SaaS giant has long boasted of.

Salesforce might be distracted by forking out $28bn for workplace social platform Slack or figuring out the integration points from an earlier $15.7bn merger with data-viz biz Tableau.

Scratchpad's pitch is to emphasise how difficult Salesforce is when it comes to sales data wrangling. Its website is full of statements like: "Salesforce is a great database, but as a place to do your work it's slow to load, requires too many clicks and countless browser tabs."

It is full of testimonials like the one from Saura Johnston, enterprise account executive with Twilio, whose canned quote said: "Staying on top of all of these Salesforce fields used to be my biggest stressor, and now I can see them in an easy to use view."

Which she definitely, really said.

All of which makes it abundantly clear that Scratchpad's apparent strength is entirely reliant on Salesforce's apparent weakness. Yet without Salesforce, it would not have a business at all.

Anyway, far be it from The Register to lecture anyone on biting the hand that feeds IT. ®


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