8 productivity and collaboration startups likely to survive the pandemic

  • The pandemic-driven shift to remote work has dramatically boosted productivity and collaboration tools.
  • Today, companies are re-evaluating the tools they need, which could lead to market disruption.
  • Here are 8 startups that are likely to survive and become indispensable tools in the workplace.

It’s no secret that productivity and collaboration tools have been given a huge boost by the pandemic. Microsoft’s workplace productivity suite, as well as Cisco’s suite and Google Workspace, continued to reign supreme in enterprises, while the use of so-called “best-in-class” tools like Zoom, Slack and Box also exploded.

Some of the most exciting moves, however, have come from a rising class of private sector productivity and collaboration startups, which have secured new funding and sky-high valuations as they race to take market share in a new world where remote work would be the norm. Some, like Asana and Monday.com, have even gone public.

But now that the dust from the initial rush to remote work has settled, it looks like the market is gearing up for a shake-up that could make some startups winners and others pandemic hiccups. Companies have had time to acclimate to remote working and are wondering which tools have served them best. Especially as the market downturn forces businesses to cut back on spending, many are weighing which productivity tools have proven indispensable versus tools they could do without.

Many companies were willing to spend big on such tools at the start of the pandemic because they are unprepared for remote work, Jody Shapiro, CEO and founder of software startup Productiv, which helps companies analyze what software and services their employees use. But he said it was “the start of rationalizing it all, asking, ‘Should we have all these tools? And do we want to have multiple tools that serve similar use cases? “”

Sandeep Bhadra, partner at Vertex Ventures, believes that at the end of the day, “the companies that create products that users overwhelmingly love are the ones that are going to win.”

To get a sense of which productivity and collaboration software startups are poised to succeed and become essential tools beyond this initial rush, Insider spoke with analysts, VCs, and customers from a variety of tools. We also looked at data from Productiv and Okta, both of which have visibility into the apps their customers use on a daily basis. Okta and Productiv have diverse customer bases, ranging from large enterprises to small startups and small businesses, in a variety of industries.

As expected, many of the most used apps were from established companies, including Slack – which Salesforce owns – Zoom, Microsoft, Google and Atlassian. But several startups also showed continued use. In Okta’s annual Businesses at Work report which focuses on trends in its customer base, it named five collaboration startups to its list of fastest growing apps based on number of customers. These tools were Notion, Figma, Miro, Airtable and Monday.com.

The list we publish focuses specifically on private companies that are emerging as the next generation of “best of breed” productivity apps. It includes visual collaboration tools, no-code or low-code startups that automate tasks, calendar apps, and next-gen document tools.

Here are 8 productivity startups likely to survive the pandemic boom and become essential work tools:

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