The Monthly Rundown: Startups to Watch from Shamus the Sales Guy – February

Curious about what’s trending in the startup world from a salesperson’s perspective? As a Crunchbase veteran, I am constantly looking out for interesting industry trends, developments and startups on the rise to get ahead of the game.

I’ve worked my way up the sales ladder by keeping a pulse on up-and-coming startups – always looking out for the latest funding rounds and companies with impressive growth signals. You never know when the next unicorn may emerge, and as every salesperson knows, the earlier you get in, the better chances you have of growing that account into a big-spending customer.

In “The Monthly Rundown” series, I dive into a few of the “hottest” startups from the past month, filtering by recent funding rounds and significant influxes of new website visitors. By the time a company reaches Series D or higher, it’s a household name every sales rep has on their radar. Read on if you want to be one of the first ones to the party.

Without further ado, here is my list of 5 startups to watch (February 2020 edition):


1. Automox

automotox shamus the sales guy startups to watch blog

 HQ: Boulder, CO

Industry: Cloud Security, Cyber Security

Funding: Recently raised $30M Series B on 2/4/20. Lead Investor: Koch Disruptive Technologies.

Web traffic: 181% monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching Automox: Cloud security is a growing concern as more and more of our data flows into the ever-illusive cloud. Researchers predict digital data we generate will grow immensely by 2025 – in 2018 we generated 33 zetabytes of data, by 2025 that number will be 175 zetabytes. On the heels of RSA, one of the world’s largest cybersecurity conferences, cloud security will continue to be top of mind and top on investor’s lists – explaining the impressive uptick in web traffic Automox has seen since its latest funding round. This is definitely a company to keep an eye on!   


2. Laiye

Laiya shamus the sales guy startups to watch blog

HQ: Beijing, China

Industry: Artificial Intelligence, Enterprise, Apps

Funding: Recently raised $42M Series C on 2/23/20. Lead Investor: Lightspeed China Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners

Web traffic: 201% monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching Laiye: AI is not just a buzzword – artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the algorithm game and rapidly advancing our ability to code and process data faster than ever before. The company’s main product, Wulai, enables enterprises to build chatbots in an effort to help enterprise customers improve sales revenue, marketing ROI, and service efficiency through business messaging and conversation solutions. With a recently raised $42 million Series C in the bank, and double the monthly web traffic in February, Laiye is on the rise.


3. HealthJoy

HealthJoy shamus the sales guy startups to watch blog

HQ: Chicago, IL

Industry: Health Care, Medical

Funding: Recently raised $30M Series C on 2/24/20. Lead Investor: Health Velocity Capital

Web traffic: 184% monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching HealthJoy: HealthJoy is a benefits experience platform that leverages AI technology to empower employees to better use and understand their benefits. HR tech is a vertical to watch as HR automation strives to decrease HR employee workload and answer employee questions without the human touch. With another impressive round of funding, HealthJoy is a competitive player in the fight to be one of the leaders of today’s HR tech evolution.


4. OneTrust

onetrust shamus the sales guy startups to watch blog

HQ: Atlanta, GA

Industry: Compliance, Privacy

Funding: Recently raised $210M Series B on 2/20/20. Lead Investor: Insight Partners

Web traffic: 101% monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching OneTrust: In line with this month’s themes of automation and security, OneTrust is another recently funded compliance and privacy startup to watch. OneTrust automates privacy impact assessments and data inventory mapping, enforces risk remediation actions, and triggers recurring audits for continuous compliance monitoring across customer, employee, and vendor data transfers. With a growing need for automation in compliance monitoring for data transfers, the rather unsexy term “data compliance” should be top of mind for B2B salespeople. 


5. Dixa

dixa shamus blog

HQ: Copenhagen, Denmark

Industry: Customer Service, Enterprise Software

Funding: Recently raised $36M Series B on 2/4/20. Lead Investor: Notion

Web traffic: 77% monthly visits growth

Why I’m watching Dixa: Customer service is notoriously a major challenge for both customers and the company on the other end of the phone line. With more platforms than ever to reach support representatives, keeping conversations in one place is a challenge in itself — not to mention solving the customer’s issue. Dixa’s customer engagement software supports ongoing conversations between brands and customers across email, phone, chat and messaging in real-time. As the automation trend continues, I expect this will not be the last we hear from Dixa.

Find this article helpful? Stay posted for more of my insights in a few weeks!

– Shamus



Shamus Noonan is a sales manager at Crunchbase, where he leads a team of AEs & SDRs across inbound and outbound channels. Find him on LinkedIn.



  • Originally published March 6, 2020