Crowdsourcing Startup Wants Clarity for Flooded B2B Software Market

An Israeli crowdsourcing website startup that launched today will be a hub for those in the market for B2B software and even reach B2C-level success like Amazon or Ebay, its founder boasted to CMSWire. 

Chekkt, which includes reviews and ratings on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions and outsourced services, launched It is designed to help companies, from startups and mom-and-pop shops to businesses with thousands of employees, discover, compare and purchase the best SaaS solutions for their needs, according to Chekkt CEO Ori Manor.

"The problem is quite simple," Manor told CMSWire. "Businesses today really don't have a go-to destination to compare services. It's unbelievable what you see in the B2C realm with Amazon. Everything is accessible, and you have a huge inventory at your fingertips. In the B2B sector, it's hard to discover these things, and it's hard to tell whether a certain software is relevant for your needs."

Legitimate Reviews?

The problem is clear. Software solutions are endless today. Just look at Scott Brinker's marketing technology landscape -- and that's not even all of them.

Crowdsourcing sites like G2 Crowd and TrustRadius look helpful. There hundreds of reviews of software and reports that rank software.

But on reviews incoming from the web, do we know the full story? Were reviewers nudged by vendors to favor their software? Did the vendors themselves generate most of the reviews? Who are the reviewers, and how is this checked by the crowdsourcing managers?

G2 Crowd,  when we talked to them earlier this year, said they monitor this all the time, and each reviewer is legitimized via his LinkedIn account. G2 Crowd filters out vendors and competitors from publishing reviews, though vendors can add their products to the site for the chance to be reviewed.

CMSWire asked Chekkt's Manor about user selection. As long as you have a log-in, you can write reviews. We tested this and were able to create a profile and write a software review that posted immediately.

Manor told CMSWire that users must abide by Chekkt's terms of use when submitting reviews.

"It's monitored by humans," Manor said. "If we see too many good reviews that praises a certain vendor, we'll flag that and contact the vendor."

customer experience, Crowdsourcing Startup Wants Clarity for Flooded B2B Software Market

Where Chekkt Lands

When talking about the BPaaS sector (Business-Process-as-a-Service), Manor said it accounts for 59 percent of the entire cloud based services market ($129.9 billion, growing at 17 percent compound annual growth rate, according to Gartner).

"It is a fragmented market populated by tens of thousands of business solutions of all sorts and a very small number of all-inclusive marketplaces," Manor said.

According to Manor, this includes: 

  • Enterprise extension marketplaces: extensions to native services, i.e. Salesforce appXchange, Google apps marketplace
  • Independent business software review hubs (Capterra, G2Crowd, etc.)

"Chekkt is right at the middle of this competitive landscape," Manor said. "It's a completely independent online marketplace for B2B solutions and services in various categories: web design, operations, marketing, finance, R&D, customer support, tracking, etc."

Making Money

More than 1,200 SaaS vendors have already registered with Chekkt. It offers software reviews and product details in arenas including CRM, marketing, IT and infrastructure, sales and security. 

Manor said Chekkt will also soon offer registered users access to exclusive industry content, deals, discounts and promotions. Chekkt completed a seed round of funding in June 2013 and is currently raising an additional investment round.

So how does it make money? "We monetize via ads spread across the site's pages and some sponsored promotions of B2B products on our newsletters," Manor said.

In the near future, he added, will make money via three channels:

The Chekkt Ad Network: running campaigns for vendors, using both on-site traffic and off-site traffic (via our network of publishers).

Reselling vendor software: Chekkt will become a full-fledged marketplace and will re-sell the software for its vendors, just like on Amazon/Ebay/NewEgg and will charge a fee per every sale.

Premium features for vendors, such as: 

  • Trust seal: Chekkt will enable vendors to buy a trust seal (if they're entitled) and embed it on their own site. The seal will help vendors "show off" the high reputation they achieved on the Chekkt marketplace. This will be applicable only to vendors who have an average score of 4.5 stars (or higher) with at-least 25 authenticated reviews.
  • Ad-free vendor page: Upgrading their account to premium will allow vendors to take out ads from their vendor page.
  • Analytics: Vendors who upgraded to premium will gain access into in-depth analytics about their page's performance

"Our starting point is getting more vendors in," Manor told CMSWire. "Our next step would be to focus on users."