Presales, or sales engineering, is a great example of a function that has been overlooked from a software platform perspective. This team is massively important for technical organizations, but up until now—they never had a solution of their own. Presales organizations are usually forced to live with clunky CRM customizations, work across 5-6 disparate systems, live in spreadsheets, or sometimes having no process at all. From my own experience at RelateIQ and then Salesforce, I know the importance of presales, and the likely impact of a platform that unlocks this team’s strategic potential.

That’s why I was so excited when I first met Vivun founder and CEO, Matt Darrow and his team. 

Matt is a true testament to a founder that set out to solve a firsthand problem. Previously VP of Sales at Zuora, Matt had risen through the ranks with the consistent frustration of not having metrics at his fingertips or a way to feed presales intelligence back and forth between his team and the product team. He was struck with inspiration on vacation in New Zealand and coded the prototype of Vivun himself —mainly because he couldn’t bear the thought of the world existing another day without it.

Not only was Matt solving a large but overlooked problem for a critical sales function, but his vision for the application of data science was also highly differentiated. To be able to communicate bi-directionally between product and presales using natural language processing and product feedback clustering was unlike anything else in the market. To use explainable AI to enhance sales forecasting also has the potential to be completely disruptive.

It also helped that the Accel team is extremely familiar with Vivun’s ecosystem. We know Salesforce, Jira, and Slack very well— all of whom will be key integrations (if not outright partners) with the Vivun platform.

Matt not only put together an impressive product—but he surrounded himself with a strong team of co-founders: Dominique Darrow (CCO), was a Google alumni. John Bruce (CTO) worked with Matt during the Zuora IPO run, was one of Pandora's first engineers, and prior to Vivun led the technical field organization at SignalFx. Claire Bruce (COO) was general counsel for a billion dollar business. And Joe Miller, who joins Vivun as Chief Data Scientist.

At Accel, we have a long history in investing in companies that shape the Future of Work. It was with no hesitation that we jumped at the opportunity to partner with Matt and the Vivun team by leading their Series A, and supporting them on their mission to build the world’s first platform designed for and by presales. Read more about Vivun here or in TechCrunch here

—Steve Loughlin