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Tackle.io, the Idaho-based cloud marketplace platform using zero engineering to help software providers generate revenue through cloud commerce, today announced it raised a $100 million Series C funding round. Tackle claims its zero-engineering platform reduces the time for software providers to list and sell their products on cloud marketplaces while providing granular transaction reporting.

Tackle CEO, John Jahnke, told VentureBeat in an exclusive email interview that several companies are now taking advantage of the increased speed, convenience, and efficiency of software procurement via the cloud marketplaces on the back of pandemic-induced acceleration in cloud spending.

Jahnke said Tackle’s cloud marketplace platform requires little to no time or resources from technical teams to get started — ensuring technical decision-makers who would otherwise be responsible for building and maintaining their company’s marketplace listing can rely on Tackle to handle the heavy lifting.

Leading the digital selling era

The cloud marketplace has witnessed a boom in the last two years and is poised to grow even more exponentially moving into 2022 and ahead. According to an industry report by Gartner, the worldwide infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) public services market grew 40.7% in 2020 to a total of $64.3 billion, up from $45.7 billion in 2019.

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Tackle’s State of the Cloud Marketplaces Report showed that 61% of buyers said they had purchased software through one of the cloud marketplaces in the last year — a 39% increase over 2020. The report further predicted marketplace growth will happen even faster than previously reported, expecting $50 billion in throughput by the end of 2025.

Tackle says it is helping software sellers meet buyers where they are as they continue this rapid digital shift and enabling sellers to fine-tune the inclusion of cloud in their go-to-market (GTM).

The era of digital selling of software is here, and Tackle says it has emerged as the only platform solution purpose-built for software companies like CrowdStrike, Lacework, and VMware to launch, scale, and operationalize their businesses through the cloud marketplaces.

Innovating for independent software vendors

Tackle’s founder and chief technology officer, Dillon Woods, said Tackle innovates for the independent software vendor (ISV) community. “Our customers love how we build seller and buyer experiences on top of the marketplaces that eliminate friction and ultimately deliver on every buyer’s desired outcome: access to the software they need to innovate,” said Dillon.

With many of the hyperscaler cloud providers, purchasing third-party software through their marketplace allows buyers to drawdown their committed cloud spend, said Jahnke. This means IT teams, who typically own the cloud budget, can leverage marketplace purchases to utilize unspent dollars, added Jahnke.

“Our customers today are primarily hypergrowth startups, and we are excited to leverage this investment to broaden our platform in support of startups looking to build a marketplace-native go-to-market, as well as enterprises that are retrofitting their product portfolios to align to the cloud buyer. Tackle’s mission is to provide a global enterprise-grade platform focused on bringing a marketplace cloud GTM to the masses,” said Jahnke.

Robson Grieve, chief marketing officer at OutSystems, said OutSystems has seen a significant increase in demand for its low-code platform, and the cloud marketplaces are key to the company’s growth strategy. “The Tackle platform makes leveraging marketplaces a business decision versus a distraction to product and engineering teams, and Tackle’s focused experts have helped guide us along our journey from the first transaction to at-scale revenue across the clouds,” said Grieve.

Enterprise use cases of Tackle’s platform

Jahnke said Tackle has helped its customers reduce their time to list on the marketplaces from months to weeks, accelerate deal velocity, reduce sales cycle times, and transact more than $400 million in revenue across the AWS, Azure, GCP, and Red Hat marketplaces. Tackle is also helping customers navigate cloud payment systems as they scale and grow their marketplace offerings, according to Jahnke.

Jahnke noted that Tackle helps software providers reach success across their company in the following ways:

  • Alliances/partner teams: Tackle helps alliances and partner teams maximize their relationships with the hyperscaler clouds by enabling the cloud marketplace transactions that drive co-sell momentum.
  • Sales teams: Through Tackle, revenue leaders and their sales teams can generate new deals with faster velocity, thanks to the innate advantages of Marketplace transactions as well as Tackle’s unique feature set for improving seller workflow and visibility throughout the marketplace deal cycle.
  • Finance and operations: Tackle is a partner in helping software providers operationalize their marketplace strategies, especially as they grow and scale. The company delivers streamlined data and real-time reporting and insights so finance teams can attribute the clear impact marketplace has on their revenue with actionable insights for mitigating risk and maximizing growth.
  • Developers: Tackle’s platform handles the heavy lifting of developing custom marketplace integrations and maintaining a marketplace listing, allowing product teams to focus on their core competencies.

While Jahnke says that Tackle does not have any direct competitors, Craft.co lists Resilia, Egnyte, and CustomerGauge as some of Tackle’s top competitors.

What the funding will do

Founded by Woods, and COO Brian Denker in 2016, Tackle has experienced tremendous growth since inception, tripling the company’s team size — starting 2021 with 52 employees and closing the year out with approximately 160 employees.

Tackle says it anticipates explosive growth in 2022, looking to double the company’s headcount next year. The company also doubled its customer count in 2021, with companies ranging from startups to public companies. Currently, Tackle has over 350 customers, including AppDynamics, CrowdStrike, Dell, NewRelic, HashiCorp, Looker, McAfee, Okta, Talend, VMware, and PagerDuty.

Specifically, Jahnke said the company will use this funding for the following:

  • Accelerate the execution of the company’s product roadmap
  • Invest in bringing marketplaces closer to the point where buyers discover
  • Integrate marketplaces deeply into core software company systems like Salesforce
  • Streamline the workflow between cloud co-sell systems and the marketplaces
  • Scale Tackle’s GTM teams: Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, and Partnerships
  • Expand global reach to support Tackle customers around the world
  • Continue innovating with the existing cloud marketplaces Tackle already supports: AWS, Azure, GCP, and IBM / Red Hat

As part of the funding, David Schneider, general partner at Coatue, will also join Tackle’s board as an observer. Schneider said Coatue believes Tackle is well-positioned to help all sellers accelerate their shift toward cloud marketplaces and digital selling.

“I have seen a lot of go-to-market systems in my career, and it is rare, and exciting, to see a SaaS company like this that enables direct access to budget and buyers,” said Schneider.

This funding round was co-led by Coatue and existing investor Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners. The additional capital comes nine months after a $35 million Series B funding and brings the company’s valuation to $1.25 billion. The company has raised $148 million total in equity investment to date.

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