Estonia's PipeDrive de-cloaks at AngelPad demo day

Today Estonian startup Pipedrive presented at the demo day of the often publicity-shy AngelPad, the San-Francisco-based accelerator founded by ex-Googlers.

The only eastern European startup out of the 15 teams in the accelerator’s summer 2011 edition, Pipedrive is developed by sales people for sales people. What other cloud-based CRM systems are missing, Pipedrive attempts to deliver. The main dashboard shows deals in a pipeline from an initial contact, to contract negotiations to done deals. After 40 initial leads, 20 warm, 15 hot, 8 are closed, to quote their example.

Timo Rein and Urmas Purde, the founders of Pipedrive, are the sales guys. The previous business they co-founded, VAIN & Partners, the Baltic sales training company, sold its services to 10 000 customers. Despite trying out various CRM tools (the latest one costing 50 000 Euros to the company), they ended up using the post-it notes to visualize and discuss their sales pipeline. This is how Rein and Purde managed their sales process before Pipedrive.

Something had to be done, and this is why Pipedrive has been created. This is how a deal pipeline looks like now.

Pipedrive Screenshot

Other CRM tools which sprang up over the past few years such as Dashboard, PipelineDeals, Leads360 and even HighriseHQ (which is backed by Jeff Bezos) are all tweaking either the good old Act! or Salesforce, making it cheaper and easier to use CRM systems in the cloud.

Pipedrive is challenging a crowded market segment. It gives its customers a visibility of the complete sales process: “This is what I am working on, this is what I have to do and this is where I want to get to”. The company has paying customers since March 2011 and considers SMEs amongst its target client base, 40% of which come from the US. In fact, the layout of the deals pipeline is so intuitive, professionals are using it to track recruitment and fund-raising process besides sales.

To be fair to the readers, I have reviewed other cloud-based CRM tools, and I have established that they do not offer the same visualization of the sales process. Here  they are, although Rein believes that their main competitors are Excel and post-it notes. Pipedrive cost $12 per month for a solo license, $26 per month for a lite version, $53 for Business version and $121 for Business XL.

HighriseHQ by 37signals

The sole investor of 37signals is Jeff Bezos. One of the founders David Heinemeier Hansson is an inventor of development framework Ruby-on-Rails. The solution focuses more on recording, managing and sharing contacts. Deal functionality is included, but is not the main value proposition. Price: Free (up to 250 contacts, no file uploads), Basic $24, plus $49, premium $99.


PipelineDeals compares itself with a Salesforce as a horse versus a tank. Simple to deploy, it is a typical CRM system, only cloud-based. Contacts, emails, to-do list and reporting functionality is included and can be accessed instantly via a browser. The price is $15 per user per month.


A CRM module of this cloud-based office suite comes in three packages: the price is free for up to 3 users, limited functionality, a professional edition at $12 per user per month, and enterprise edition at $25 per user per month. There are add-ons including a mobile version.

This customizable tool is all about automating sales process,deals reporting and revenue  forecast. Basically, the company wants sales people never to have to leave its environment, by integrating contacts, emails and other tools into its system. Something InvisibleCRM did for SalesForce to simplify the integration of the personal productivity tools such as MS Office with a time-consuming sales activity reporting.


Express version costs $35, Small Business costs $50, and prices for an Enteprise license is available per application only. The company claims to provide its product and services to over 5000 clients worldwide.  Contacts, to-do lists, tasks and deals reporting tools are all part of this cloud-based system which claims to be the most successful one on the market.


The company aims to be an “Anti-Salesforce” and appears to compete with PipelineDeals on price, by offering $14.95 per user per month for its CRM tool. The functionality, from what it appears to be, includes standard CRM toolbox, such as contact recording and management, tasks, associated with the contacts, to do lists and management reports.