Demostack, an early stage startup that wants to make it easy for companies to build software demos, announced $17.3 million in funding today. The company also announced it was coming out of stealth.
That investment breaks down into a $13.3 million Series A led by Bessemer Venture Partners with help from GTM Fund and several individual investors. They also announced a $4 million seed from last December led by Amiti Ventures with participation from Operator Collective, Cerca Partners and a slew of individual investors. All the seed investors also participated in the A round, according to the company.
Software companies of all types face challenges in building a quality demo, one that doesn’t expose actual customer information, yet shows all of the functionality in a reasonably realistic way. It’s a problem that co-founder and CEO Jonathan Friedman experienced in his previous job and he wanted to do something about it.
“We’re building a perfect demo environment. And what that means is that it’s one that is controlled by sales or marketing. […] There is no need for [engineering] at all, and it’s customized for each prospect by default,” Friedman explained.
He said that it removes that anxiety that the demo won’t work, or that you will expose data you’re not supposed to. “Demo anxiety is real. Just having to worry about PII (personally identifiable information), and having people logging on and coming in and creating stuff within our production environment was unsustainable,” he told me.
Friedman founded Demostack to change that. They provide a full demo building tool that starts with a recording of the environment, so it looks and feels like the live product, and you can create auto customization with variables like customer name that link to the CRM tool and pull in information for you as you build the demo for a particular prospect.
It’s a solution that caught the attention of Adam Fisher, partner at lead investor Bessemer Venture Partners. “Demostack gives every software business a powerful competitive advantage, allowing them to better engage their prospective customers, doing away with old school temperamental demos,” he said in a statement.
Demostack already has 20 employees with plans to triple that number by the end of this year. He said the company is already embracing diversity among its early employees, and sees this as an important building block.
“One of the main reasons that we wanted to lean into this early is because being a diverse company is not a bonus. It’s not like, ‘Oh I’ll do this to make people happy about me’. You can’t understand how people from different walks of life see reality. Everyone sees a different slice of reality. If you can’t grasp that you will never build a company that is successful,” Friedman said.
The company launched last September and released an early version of the product in February. Today, Demostack is publicly unveiling the company, although it doesn’t expect to have the complete product ready for distribution until mid-year.