Unito, a startup offering a service to bring together disparate software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms — for example, Jira and Trello — today announced it raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by CDPQ’s Equity 253 fund with participation from Rainfall Ventures, Investissement Québec, Bessemer Venture Partners, Tom Williams and Mistral Venture Partners. The new cash brings the company’s total raised to $33 million, which CEO Marc Boscher says is being put toward product development and expanding Unito’s headcount from 65 people to 70 by the end of the year.
SaaS tool usage is on the rise, with corporate teams now using 40 to 60 tools on average; a 2019 report from Blissfully found companies were spending around $343,000 per year on SaaS. But while SaaS apps have become the lifeblood of organizations, they can often be unwieldy. In a 2021 survey, enterprise architecture startup LeanIX found that businesses rarely have common standards when it comes to responsibility for SaaS management.
On a mission to uncover a solution — or invent a new one — Boscher and Eryk Warren joined Montreal’s Founder Institute program in 2015. Boscher hails from the IT industry, while Warren has software engineering experience, having worked at startups in Montreal, including events ticketing system Outbox Technology and Fluential.
Boscher and Warren founded Unito that same year, in late 2015, as they finally arrived at a way to help companies manage SaaS sprawl. Rather than build a new project management or collaboration platform, the two co-founders created two-way integrations with automatic syncing between existing SaaS tools.
“The massive proliferation of online tools is causing nearly as many headaches as it solves,” Boscher told TechCrunch in an email interview. “[T]ools made for collaboration can actually hinder collaboration, as they become virtual information silos … There are more SaaS tools than ever before and remote work is forcing companies to adopt these digital solutions, which leads to fragmentation and less control over tools as people work from anywhere on any device.”
Unito attempts to ease this fragmentation — supported apps include GitLab, HubSpot, Google Sheets, ClickUp, Salesforce and Wrike. Users can map how other users, lists, custom fields and leverage the various connected tools.
Boscher argues that Unito can even save companies money by reducing seat requirements and “optimizing” software licensing. “Two-way syncing means developers can stay in their software development tools, and business teams in their project management tools — no doubling up on licenses to allow collaboration,” he added. “Eliminating hours of manual copying and pasting and always having the right information in your tools is key for agile and high-velocity teams.”
True or not, many vendors claim to achieve this with their own tools for SaaS app management. Beamy recently raised $9 million to further develop its platform to detect and orchestrate SaaS apps. Torri, which is also venture backed, aims to bring businesses together around the cloud apps they use so they can discover all the apps they have — and automatically take action on those most appropriate for return on investment.
Those are just the tip of the SaaS management iceberg — see BetterCloud, Lumos and Paragon for other examples. But Boscher believes there’s breathing room yet in the budding market. He points to findings from Gartner, which suggest 50% of organizations using multiple SaaS apps will centralize orchestration and usage of these apps using a SaaS management platform — an increase from less than 20% in 2021.
“Unito’s competitors include integration software-as-a-service players like Zapier and its copycats, which boast thousands of easy to use but shallow one-way connectors, and integration platform-as-a-service players like Workato and Tray.io, which offer deeper one-way integrations but are difficult to use and need professional services and/or developers for implementation,” Boscher said, touting the ostensible advantages of Unito’s two-way syncing tech. “Unito’s two-way sync provides users with the most recent data from any work app and shares it in real-time based on customized fields and rules set by the user.”
Boscher claims Unito has more than 50,000 users across 7,000 companies, including Atlassian, Corpay, Teamwork, the Cincinnati Reds and Wrike, with workflows in IT, project management, sales, spreadsheets and the software development domains. This year alone, Unito’s inbound monthly sign-ups doubled in six months, he says. And while Boscher wouldn’t reveal revenue, he noted that Unito is still hiring.
“Having taken startups through two recessions before, Unito founders are taking hiring slow and keeping the bar high … Unito has always kept burn in line with growth,” Boscher said. “Unito aims to become the universal translator for enterprises by letting any team or department set up deep integrations on their own, while keeping IT in control at the governance and security level.”