Over the past few years and the next few years, we will see the formation of the next generation of enterprise application companies, companies applying intelligence to their applications. Over the subsequent decade those companies will replace legacy companies such as SAP, Oracle, NetSuite [part of Oracle] and Salesforce.
This will happen for a simple reason. It will happen because applications will become, well, intelligent. As ML/AI becomes integrated into every element of the application stack, applications will learn on a real-time basis and they will start to take actions on our behalf. Intelligent applications will deliver a far better customer experience, solve more of the customer problem set, and do so at far better economics than traditional or even SaaS applications.
That thesis on intelligent applications is why I am so excited about many of the companies we are working with including, Clari [Revenue Operations], a stealth corporate travel startup, a stealth financial application startup, and our most recent investment, VNDLY.
VNDLY, is a talent management solution founded by Shashank Saxena and Narayan Surabhi. Based in Cincinnati, OH, VNDLY’s clould-native vendor management solution gives employers and contractors an AI-based platform that adapts to the changing needs of both groups.
Over the past few decades, the contract and contingent portion of the corporate workforce has grown from less than 20% to more than 40%. My experience leading the Fieldglass team at SAP helped me to see the scale of the challenge businesses face in effectively recruiting, paying, managing and engaging with this critical part of a company.
Like every other component of the enterprise application stack, there is an opportunity to materially improve the completeness, the economic value and the ease of use, of solutions focused on the vendor and contract workforce.
There is an opportunity to serve this part of the workforce with the same fullness of solutions that companies like WorkDay, provide for full-time employees.
Shashank, who was previously an executive at Kroger, and I met a few years ago. I knew at that time that I would enjoy working with him. Shashank and his team are customer centric, insatiably curious, intellectually honest and continually raise the bar on themselves.
I am thrilled to have led Madrona’s investment in VNDLY and excited to work alongside Shashank and team as VNDLY’s newest board member.
Our investment in VNDLY is an Acceleration Fund investment, which is focused on companies that have found product and market fit and are scaling their businesses.