Ecosystem Management is the New Black: Announcing Pronto’s $4M Seed
The days of “one-stop shops” are behind us as companies build, buy, and partner to bring more integrated solutions to the market. Sure, companies like Microsoft build their own “walled gardens,” but the reality is that teams partner with hundreds if not thousands of companies to enable their products to reach more customers. That’s why Microsoft still adds a whopping 7,500 partners to its ecosystem each month. On the company side, piecing those together requires involvement from many stakeholders, from strategic alliances, resellers, marketplaces, service partners, distributors, contractors, OEM partnerships, and more. These relationships tend to be process-driven and share common objectives but are maintained across different tools and platforms. The experience is clunky and, as a result, time that could be spent nurturing partnerships is spent on manual reporting. Here’s where Pronto comes in.
We’re thrilled to be part of Pronto’s $4 million seed round, a company improving how organizations connect with and manage their partner ecosystem. Swaroop Kolli, Suresh Batchu, and Manoj Kumar co-founded Pronto on the belief that software could automate many aspects of B2B relationships to unlock more streamlined collaboration. Together, the team is building a platform that manages the lifecycle of ecosystem partnerships, measures how those partnerships are performing, streamlines common tasks, and surfaces potential joint revenue opportunities. At Vertex US, we believe Pronto has a tremendous opportunity to create an ecosystem management category to make this experience better for all B2B relationships.
Prior to becoming an investor, I had experienced many of the same challenges over and over again. My teams managed hundreds of partners at scale at places like Segment, where I led strategic alliances, and at Box, where I built the company’s largest reseller channels. Managing the lifecycle of each partnership and tracking each stakeholder’s progress is unorganized and hard. Most companies are doing it by combining email and spreadsheets, manually sharing data, and piecing together partner relationship management (PRM) and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
In his previous roles, Swaroop experienced many of the same pain points at scale. He had led consulting engagements for large companies and was working to solve this problem while streamlining and maximizing the potential of massive partner ecosystems. As I got to know him, I was impressed by his dedication to a vision of more collaborative partnerships and the bet he’s making about how the future will unfold. He believes that companies of all sizes should be able to automate tedious tasks and collaborate more seamlessly all through one platform.