WorkBoard is all about helping companies make things happen. The firm provides goal-setting software that gets to “the source of truth for strategic priorities and key results” using objectives and key results (OKRs). A popular Silicon Valley tool, OKRs are a twofold planning framework featuring ‘big picture’ business objectives and actionable key result metrics bound to a timeline.
Beyond the advantages of tracking strategic alignment and accountability, the real story of WorkBoard is its success. CEO Deirdre Paknad is the force of nature driving the SaaS firm’s exponential growth and under her leadership, the company increased its annual recurring revenue 3.5x in 2018 and tripled it again in 2019. The Redwood City-based firm is attracting positive attention from lead venture capital investors and recently closed two almost back-to-back rounds of funding.
In March 2019, the SaaS provider raised $23 million of Series B funding in partnership with GGV Capital, Microsoft's M12, Floodgate, and other notable venture capital firms. A short ten months later and WorkBoard raised an additional round of $30 million, led by Andreessen Horowitz. The startup hadn't spent all the money from its last funding round, Paknad said, but chose to proceed with the series C because the opportunity presented itself.
In total, WorkBoard has raised $66.6 million spanning five rounds of funding. It's no mystery why some of the Silicon Valley's top VC shops are queuing up to invest in this SaaS diamond in the rough. The firm boasts an average sales cycle of 60 days to close customer contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also, the typical deal done has more than doubled in size since its founding in 2013.
If that wasn’t enough to convince potential investors, the company also states that for every $1 spent on sales and marketing, the company generates an estimated $2 in new ARR. That far surpasses the average SaaS ARR of $0.86 produced for every dollar spent, according to the 2019 Keybanc Capital Markets SaaS survey.
When asked about the need for educating potential customers, she explained that OKRs are better understood than they were five years ago. In her experience, there is greater recognition "that if you want to drive smart growth – not growth at any cost but smart growth," organizations will need to have "everybody… aligned, and you need to be able to see what they are aligned on.
While OKRs have been popular amongst the tech-savvy NorCal set for years, the business strategy has caught on with other mainstream industries as well. This awareness quickly broadens WorkBoard’s customer base without requiring the company to expend additional resources to cultivate market demand. The inroads the company made over the past half-decade means it can now reap the benefits of that upward trend.
WorkBoard is on track for an IPO if Paknad can keep growing the company at its current rate. The year 2020 will be an exciting year for the SaaS firm as the months ahead reveal what course the company will take.