Five B2B “Stoxygen” Companies You Should Know About
April 14, 2021 |
The C2FO Team
A small network of business-to-business companies power the most well-known corporations worldwide, but you may not have heard of them.
Picture this: you’re scouring OpenTable for a 7 p.m. reservation at the best Thai restaurant in your neighborhood. The only available time slot is either too early or too late, so you opt for takeout instead. You open your GrubHub app, place an order for delivery and wait for dinner to reach your doorstep.
Not once did you see Toast’s logo, but the Boston-based restaurant software provider worked behind the scenes every step of the way to bring you that Pad See Ew.
A network of B2B services fuels the back-end of everything from cloud computing to commerce infrastructure.
These companies are crucial to the daily operations of apps and websites. However, they keep such a low profile that they seem invisible to consumers.
The most important companies you’ve never heard of are the backbone of our everyday lives. To explain this phenomenon, the hosts of the Robinhood Snacks podcast coined the term “stoxygen” (a mashup of “stock” and “oxygen”) to describe companies that are as integral to the economy as the air we breathe.
According to Snacks founders and co-hosts Jack Kramer and Nick Martell, a company’s stoxygen factor is determined by how “necessary a company is to other companies, and how invisible it is to customers.”
There are many other highly visible B2B stoxygen companies such as Salesforce (customer service), Amazon’s AWS (cloud computing), Shopify and Stripe (e-commerce).
In 2020, the value of transactions through B2B digital sales — including e-procurement, electronic data interchange and other channels in addition to e-commerce sites — increased by 9.6%, to $9.92 trillion from $9.06 trillion in 2019, according to Digital Commerce 360.
The industry is poised to reach more than $10 trillion by the end of 2021. With that in mind, here are five stoxygen companies that you should know about.
San Francisco-based Unity Technologies is a video game software company that creates and operates real-time 3D (RT3D) and virtual reality content. According to its website, Unity’s platform provides game developers, artists, architects, filmmakers and others with tools to “create, run and monetize” a variety of RT3D content.
The company is best known for the development of Unity, a licensed game engine used to create video games and other applications. Unity powers 71% of the top 1,000 mobile games worldwide, according to the company.
The software behind Unity Technologies could have potential beyond gaming.
In January, Verizon announced a partnership with Unity to combine the telecommunications company’s multi-access edge computing (MEC) and 5G network to not only deliver highly responsive 3D content but also collaborate on new enterprise- and entertainment-ready 3D tools, according to Fierce Wireless.
Unity’s future could hold multiple opportunities for retailers, manufacturers and other industries with mixed reality ambitions, with applications like cashier-less grocery stores, self-driving cars and smart indoor environments.
Datadog is a monitoring and security platform for cloud-scale applications, such as servers and databases, through a data analytics platform.
The New York City-based company’s platform automates the tedious task of monitoring infrastructure by providing a unified platform to see real-time data, alert users to critical issues and much more. These capabilities help businesses secure their systems, avoid downtime and ensure customers are getting the best user experience.
Datadog’s software is used by IT, operations and development teams for organizations of all sizes. Over 150,000 companies, including Facebook, Airbnb and Whole Foods, reportedly use Datadog to monitor both cloud-based and physical services.
DocuSign has been synonymous with digital signatures long before it went public in mid-2018. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company helps organizations manage electronic agreements through electronic signatures.
With remote work still ongoing, DocuSign’s inroads into areas such as contract management, as evidenced by its recent partnership with financial software company Intuit, will potentially make this company a household name. Forbes estimates that DocuSign’s revenues are likely to expand by about 35% in 2022 and 30% in 2023.
Toast, a company that provides point-of-sale and management software, has been described as the Swiss Army knife for restaurants’ online platforms.
The company offers restaurants payment-processing hardware and cloud-based software that handle sales, payroll processing and email marketing.
Toast currently serves tens of thousands of businesses from small cafes to nationwide chains. From 2018 to 2019, Toast tallied up transactions in the tens of billions of dollars, seeing growth of some 148% in sales, TechCrunch reported in March 2019.
Toast offers integrations with the most widely-used restaurant software, including Tock, a reservation management system, Grubhub, an online ordering platform, and HotSchedules, which gives restaurants a holistic view of employee scheduling.
Revenue for the restaurant point-of-sale terminal market is expected to reach $25 billion by 2024, according to a 2019 Global Market Insights, Inc. report.
Fulcrum, an AI-powered data collection platform for field workers, aims to help non-developers rapidly build and deploy apps in minutes, without code.
Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, Fulcrum’s vision is to reduce the time, cost and risk associated with data collection, workflow automation and analytics by transforming mobile reporting for commercial field workers.
The geospatial analytics company helps teams across industries — from agriculture to telecommunications — streamline safety inspections, protect assets and even report unsafe working conditions from their mobile phones. Fulcrum customers include Aecom, BP, Comcast and Unicef.
In February, Fulcrum announced a new AI-based, privacy-protecting capability within its mobile platform that automatically detects objects in photos that mobile workers collect in the field. The application enables mobile inspectors, surveyors and canvassers to document their processes, and obscures any faces it detects using graphical blurring.
The global software as a service (SaaS) market is projected to reach $307.3 billion by 2026, according to market research company Valuates Reports.
B2B SaaS companies were clear winners after the COVID-19 pandemic permanently altered the digital landscape, heightening the need for cloud computing, e-commerce platforms and online management alternatives.
As businesses continue to streamline workflows and provide service at the touch of a button, there’s potential for exponential growth in the industry, and room for many other promising start-up stoxygen companies.
Editor’s note: Datadog, DocuSign, and Unity Technologies are currently registered clients on the C2FO platform.