BestVendor Closes $3M Series A

BestVendor has closed a $3 million Series A round co-led by RRE Ventures and SoftBank Capital. Additional investors include Lerer Ventures, who invested in the company’s seed round, along with David Tisch, Founder Collective and Old Willow Partners, the company announced Tuesday. New York-based BestVendor is an online resources where users share and recommend work-related applications.

PRESS RELEASE
BestVendor, a new online resource where professionals discover and share work-related applications, today announced that it has secured $3 million in Series A funding co-led by RRE Ventures and SoftBank Capital. Additional investors include Lerer Ventures, who invested in the company’s seed round, along with David Tisch, Founder Collective, and Old Willow Partners.

The New York-based BestVendor will use the funds to establish itself as the go-to resource for recommendations and reviews of all work apps, much like Amazon is to the book community and Yelp is to the restaurant world.

“We’re thrilled to partner with SoftBank Capital and RRE Ventures to level the playing field in business software,” said BestVendor founder and CEO Jeff Giesea. “They share our vision of bringing greater openness to this rapidly evolving market and to business purchasing in general.”

The funding is the latest milestone for BestVendor, which was founded in January 2011 by Giesea along with co-founders Ben Zhuk and Magnus von Koeller. In June, the team closed $600,000 in seed funding from SV Angel, Peter Thiel, Lerer Ventures, and SoftBank Capital. Last month, BestVendor launched a beta site. In less than a month, more than 4,800 professionals have openly shared an average of 13 work applications. Approximately 10% have tweeted their three favorite apps, helping BestVendor start a broader conversation about tools that are transforming peoples’ work lives.

SoftBank Capital’s Joe Medved said his investment firm is thrilled to back the BestVendor team, noting that Giesea “brings a unique understanding of the B2B marketplace” while Zhuk and von Koeller bring top-notch UX and technical talents.

“Our portfolio companies always ask us about the products that their peers are using, and what’s working for them. BestVendor is serving this universal need among SMBs through a scalable, peer-based review system,” Medved said.

Adam Ludwin of RRE Ventures said his company is excited about the road ahead for BestVendor. “The era of shrink-wrapped software is over. Software has proliferated and shifted to the cloud. But this has proven to be a double-edged sword for businesses of all sizes: while fantastic new solutions are appearing all the time, finding the right product has become much harder,” Ludwin said. “BestVendor is solving this issue, and we believe it is a massive opportunity.”

A recent transplant to New York, Giesea noted that the city’s unique entrepreneurial environment has contributed to the firm’s early success. “I met Ben and Magnus through programs at Columbia Business School’s Entrepreneurship Center. Our office is based at the NYU Poly Incubator. Joe Medved and I first crossed paths at an event at General Assembly, and Adam and RRE are based in New York, too. We’re excited to build BestVendor here.”

About BestVendor
Founded in January 2011, BestVendor helps business professionals find the best work apps based on the recommendations of people like them. BestVendor’s vision is to become the first place business people go to find products that enhance their success, starting with web, desktop, and mobile business applications. Using a give-to-get model, BestVendor’s beta site asks users to share three work apps they recommend. In turn, users can see what other individuals and companies recommend, get personalized recommendations, and find the best resources for specific needs. Beta signup is available at http://bestvendor.com.

About SoftBank Capital
SoftBank Capital is an independent venture capital firm focused on early stage businesses addressing ubiquitous, social computing. The firm addresses opportunities that deliver socially driven content, services and applications across platforms and devices. SoftBank Capital offers entrepreneurs valuable experience and resources, including its close association with SoftBank Corp. in Japan. The firm’s historical investments include Associated Content, Buddy Media, Danger, E*TRADE, GeoCities, GSI Commerce, Huffington Post, WebMD, and Yahoo!. SoftBank Capital has offices in Newton, MA, New York City and Buffalo, NY. For more information, visit www.softbank.com.

About RRE Ventures
RRE Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in New York City. Since its founding in 1994, the company has sought out and partnered with extraordinary entrepreneurs who seek to disrupt and transform industries.

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