Several years ago, my boss at BrightRoll asked me to process commissions for our 30-person sales team. I considered myself an Excel wizard so I thought “Sure, no problem!” For the next two weeks, I was working until 2 am cleaning up data, building a payroll solution from spreadsheets, and emailing payout summaries to every sales rep. There was a problem. A big one.
None of the enterprise solutions were agile enough to be self-sufficient without costly consulting services, so I resorted to the status quo like most people around me. As we scaled the sales team to 100 people, it became such an undertaking that I nearly quit my job. After catching up with my college friends Conway and Hubert who shared the same frustration, it got us thinking that life shouldn’t be this way. We all knew that paying people’s commissions was too important to leave it up to complicated spreadsheets, so we quit our jobs to build something we wished existed and co-founded CaptivateIQ.
People are intrinsically motivated by incentives, which is why accurate and timely commissions are so critical. But calculating commissions is complex and very easy to mess up. While commissions account for 10% of a company’s revenue, 80% of them have errors because they are handled in spreadsheets and those consequences can be disastrous. Paying a sales rep the wrong commission or delaying their payment can quickly destroy employee trust, team morale, and even lead to company lawsuits - which Hewlett Packard experienced when it was sued for $25M from over 2,000 employees that weren't paid accurately or on time.
Over the past two and a half years, our team at CaptivateIQ has been working on a modern solution for everybody that is involved in the world of commissions from sales ops, to finance and accounting, to sales reps. We’ve helped companies like Gong, GitLab, and Udemy streamline their commissions process to save countless hours and potential errors while adding transparency back for their reps.
Today, we are thrilled to announce we’ve raised a $13M Series A led by Sequoia Capital with support from our existing investors including Y Combinator, Amity, and S28.
The new funding will allow us to continue on our mission of helping companies around the world unlock the power of incentives to create better alignment across teams.
With the new funding, we plan to:
We look forward to partnering with the Sequoia team as we continue to simplify sales commissions for every company.
We’ve been fortunate to partner with some fantastic companies to simplify how they manage and process commissions.
Yet, the majority of the market is still on spreadsheets because it’s low cost, highly flexible, and most importantly, familiar. But spreadsheets are difficult to manage, error-prone, and only fulfill part of the commissions process. Our solution combines the flexibility and familiarity of spreadsheets with the automation and scalability of technology and we believe it has the power to truly modernize sales commissions.
Sales admins love the ease and flexibility of designing complex plans that are instantly connected to their data sources. And we hear from sales teams how much clearer their commission statements are, making it easier for them to focus on closing deals. But we know that our journey is just beginning.
To everyone that has been a part of this journey so far, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and can’t wait to see what’s next for all of us.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.