Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

The State of B2B Tech in San Francisco in 2018


This report is one of three published by G2 Crowd to highlight the Bay Area. Each report dives into the overall history, trends and top companies that are guiding tech today. Because of the sheer volume of great developers and the unique environments across this region, we’ve divided our coverage to discuss Silicon Valley, San Jose and San Francisco — to give each the attention it deserves.

San Francisco is approximately 46 square miles — give or take just a little. Omaha, for comparison’s sake, is 130; Houston is 627; Tokyo is 845.  

You could walk from one side of San Francisco to the other without breaking a sweat … especially because the average high in July is only 67 degrees. You may have to scale a few steep hills, but the point remains: It’s small, geographically.

But by all accounts, the city’s square mileage is the only small thing about it. From the food to the art to the sea mammals, San Francisco has more going on than many cities ten times its size. Case in point: You can find more than 12,500 area companies on Crunchbase, compared to Houston’s 2,500. If Crunchbase is to be believed, that’s 272 companies per square mile versus four.

So IS everything bigger in Texas, really?  

In the global lens, the city is perhaps the nucleus for our Connected Age, and all the baggage that comes with it. In tandem with Palo Alto and the rest of Silicon Valley, San Francisco (or “SF” — if you say “San Fran” or “Frisco” they’ll bite your fingers) has birthed the lion’s share of household name technology companies. They’ve transformed the world’s daily routines in an unprecedented, prodigious period of just over a decade. Your iPhone may as well have a sticker of the Golden Gate bridge on the back, because you are already repping SF pretty hard with every click of Twitter, Instagram and Uber (and Lyft).

Steps away from these companies are at least 12,500 others vying for your attention. Some are inevitably going to get it; it’s just a matter of time.  

Fog City is no stranger to societal gold rushes — including the literal gold rushes around 1849, hence the namesake 49ers. In the 1960s it was the safe haven for the counterculture movement, for which the city’s Hippie Hill park area was lovingly dedicated. The “dot-com boom” in the late 1990s brought the first wave of techies and entrepreneurs to try their hand at this whole “website” thing (moment of silence for After that bubble burst, investors and inventors applied their newfound wisdom and hard-learned lessons to truly capitalize on the Internet and make technology that sticks.

Needless to say, it stuck. With year-round agreeable weather, an ultra-progressive community, and Apple, Facebook and Google just a stone’s throw away, SF became the chosen one for #StartupLife. Following the lead of companies like Craigslist, Airbnb and Yelp (just to name a few more), a generation of thinkers and doers from around the world poured into SF’s tiny glass until it overflowed.

And then they kept pouring in, and pouring in…

Today, SF is both famous and notorious for its place in the business world. The just-published annual report from U.S. News & World Report lists SF as the highest-paying city in the country, with the job of software developer as the best job for 2018. This is a one-two punch for the City by the Bay, which is to software development what pools are to wetness. Although Seattle and Austin are creeping up the various lists of best tech cities, any rumors of SF’s death are greatly exaggerated; its still the most high-tech city and the No. 1 tech market in the U.S., if we’re talking singular cities.

San Francisco creates — inexorably, like death and taxes. This contagious chutzpah dates back to the city’s beginnings in the mid-1800s, with denim jeans and the martini. Once digital technology and the cloud took off in the 2000s, SF innovation went into overdrive. Wikipedia, WordPress, Fitbit and even Words with Friends are all products of this second Bay Boom. Soon enough, companies like Magic Leap, 3D Robotics and OpenAI became torch bearers for future tech the likes of which we’d only seen in movies. Now, the chilly streets of SF are being used to test self-driving cars and robotic food delivery (although not without some kinks). It’s also, unsurprisingly, a playground for cryptocurrency zealots and coworking crusaders, with incubators, conferences and shared spaces as far as the eye can see.     

About that overflowing, though. Residents found out in short order just how much water fits in that glass, and bore witness to a fierce, boundless scuffle for room and board. Just what is a seat at the table worth? The Council for Community and Economic Research estimates the current cost of living is 62.6 percent higher than the U.S. average, and homes cost three times the average. Renting a two-bedroom apartment in 2018 will cost an average of $4,650 — $1,000 more than New York City and $2,000 more than other big cities. And that’s if you can get one; apartment listings are snatched up in milliseconds, and many professionals are bunking up in tight quarters with colleagues or Craigslisters. Any tech startup that joins the fold now is doing so at their own fiscal risk, and may sacrifice personal privacy or comfort for a chance to rub elbows with the most influential developers in the world.

Maybe these do-or-die circumstances are the special ingredient. There’s no room for rest in today’s San Francisco, and only the hungriest can survive. It’s an unfortunate new reality for natives, many of whom can’t (or no longer want to) keep up — that’s a story deserving of it’s own post. But for the sea of software fans out there, the hustling that’s going down in SF is a mitzvah. Nowhere is this more true than the workplace, where B2B software concocted in SF is making life easier, day after day.

Note: Only companies with headquarters currently in the San Francisco area are included in graph.


Accel Partners

I believe it’s a confluence of four factors that make the Bay Area such a special place for technology:

  • First, it’s our renowned universities: Stanford and Cal Berkeley. Both these institutions have graduated some of the most innovative, and most entrepreneurial people in technology, as well as media, entertainment, and finance.
  • Second, it’s home to large tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and many others (and, unsurprisingly, many of the founders of these companies graduated from the above universities). Not only are these companies and their founding stories often hailed as the ultimate startup dream, but years later, they’re still the driving forces behind some of today’s most exciting technology innovations like artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles.
  • Third, venture capital is concentrated here and Sand Hill Road is still where most entrepreneurs turn to raise capital to scale their companies.
  • Lastly, it’s our large and diverse startup community. While many cities and communities worldwide are also producing exciting tech ideas and innovation, the Bay Area remains a destination for startups.

— Chantelle Darby, Head of Communications at Accel Partners


Tech in San Francisco is synonymous with companies like Salesforce and Twitter, businesses that have grown at amazing rates and have interesting products. However, in the coming years, we anticipate that there will be some areas of tech that will be over-represented in San Francisco – for example, cloud-based software companies such as Anaplan, Okta, and Atlassian. One particular area of tech where the city has a disproportionate representation appears to be in AI, machine learning, and data – a trend that shows no sign of stopping. Additionally, B2B software companies, like Anaplan, that offer a platform to support multiple lines of business versus a point solution are the future of connected software.

San Francisco enjoys all the advantage of being in Silicon Valley and the well-known reasons why young, high-growth startups and innovation thrive here. The top of the line public and private universities, funding ecosystem, and cultural bias towards risk-taking are what makes our Bay Area special in addition to the different locales that offer a unique big-city vibe, an active culture, interesting neighborhoods, a sense of history, and a demographic mix that makes it very attractive for young tech talent. As the city accommodates growing crowds with better, faster public transit and affordable housing, companies that pay premium dollars for a space find it’s worth it in order to attract the right tech talent in a booming city.
— Sampath Gromatam, Vice President of Product Management at Anaplan

New Relic

I love the tech scene here, but I’m even more excited about San Francisco as a world-class city. The culture of The City is represented across music, arts, and the unique architecture of the historic neighborhoods. The outdoor life is incredible, with miles of trails and roads to ride, run and hike on, beaches and oceans a few minutes away, and snow and mountains a few hours drive away. Perhaps the most important thing about San Francisco is the people, who come from diverse backgrounds, represent lots of different perspectives, and bring an incredible energy to the city.
— Robson Grieve, Chief Marketing Officer at New Relic


As the heart of Silicon Valley continues to migrate up 101 to San Francisco, the diversity of the tech ecosystem has expanded significantly, from bitcoin to drone tech to sales tech. What continues to amaze me is how deep each of these communities are — you can find several meetups on just about anything in this town. The sales and marketing tech landscape is no exception. For DocSend in particular the local San Francisco sales and marketing tech community has been nothing but helpful and encouraging from day one. We’re more excited than ever to together help companies across the globe win more business.
— Dave Koslow, COO at DocSend

This entire month we’ve been exploring the B2B software scenes around the U.S., highlighting the top products from each region based on satisfaction data from G2 Crowd user reviews. The 25 platforms that represent San Francisco have the highest average Satisfaction scores of any region, by a comfortable margin. Granted, they have a slight advantage due to the aforementioned flood of talent and resources. It’s not unlike discussing the stats of the Bay Area’s own Golden State Warriors in relation to other NBA teams. But it doesn’t make the numbers any less impressive in a historical context. If there were an All-Star team this year, a lot of these vendors would be on the starting lineup — and a good handful are First Ballot Hall-of-Famers.

So before the next round of rookies changes the game yet again, let’s recognize the best that SF has to offer as of January 2018. The list below is ordered by user satisfaction, and to qualify, a product was required to have at least 10 verified user reviews. For each product, we created a profile to give a snapshot of what it is and what it does, and to give some insight into the company behind it. All the data comes from G2 (and our 300,000-plus B2B software and services reviews), or from publicly available sources such as LinkedIn and Crunchbase. These 25 San Francisco B2B companies are represented by 28923 verified reviews from real users across a variety of categories, from Performance Management to E-Commerce Tools to A/B Testing. Read more below about some of the companies playing a major role in SF’s one-of-a-kind tech scene.

Top B2B San Francisco Tech in 2018

  1. Slack
  2. Asana
  3. 15Five
  4. WordPress
  5. Salesforce
  6. Okta
  7. Clearbit
  8. DocSend
  9. CircleCI
  10. Chartio
  11. New Relic
  12. Expensify
  13. Epignosis eLearning solutions
  14. Optimizely
  15. Splunk Enterprise
  16. Instapage
  17. Swiftype
  18. Dropbox
  19. ProsperWorks
  20. Notepad++
  21. Crashlytics
  22. SignEasy
  23. MuleSoft
  24. GitHub
  25. Buffer

San Francisco tech companies

1. Slack
Product: Slack
Category: Team Collaboration
City: San Francisco
Founded: 2009
Employees: 953

It’s difficult to escape news about Slack these days. Everyone’s favorite team collaboration platform and midday GIF-exchanger exemplifies the Bay Area’s pattern of dominance and influence; it was the best-reviewed of any software at the G2 Crowd Dreamforce booth last year, and sits high atop the Leader quadrant in the Grid® for its category. It crossed the $5 billion valuation mark in 2017, and vendors such as Microsoft and Atlassian are working overtime to copy its success.

They’ve got their work cut out for them. With over 8,000 verified reviews and more piling up every day, the software maintains its 4.5 out of 5 star rating on G2 Crowd.

  • Product Details
  • Financial Details
  • Work Culture
Total Reviews: 8008
Categories: Team Collaboration
Average Company Size: 45% of reviewers work for a small business (1-50 employees).
Highest-Rated Features: Slack reviewers rated the tool’s instant messaging (96%) and discussions (92%) as its two top-rated features.
Other Products: View all Slack Technologies, Inc. products
Total Funding: $789,950,000
Funding Rounds: 10
Number of Investors: 28 (Crunchbase)
Mission Statement: “To make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive.”

Glassdoor Employee Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars – based on 108 reviews

View all Slack job openings on LinkedIn

Read Slack Reviews

2. Asana
Product: Asana
Category: Project Management
City: San Francisco
Founded: 2009
Employees: 369

With a glowing user rapport not far behind Slack’s, Asana’s success is no less impressive considering SF’s endless exports. The team behind Asana bill the software as “the easiest way to manage team projects and tasks,” and among its many benefits is the ability to integrate with commonplace tools like Google Drive, Salesforce and — wouldn’t you know it — Slack. Entry-level teams can download a free version of Asana on the product’s website, and the premium version starts at $9.99 per member, per month. It’s used by neighboring companies such as Lyft, Airbnb and Dropbox, which should tell prospective users everything they need to know.

In a five-star Asana review, Dorca N. L. wrote: “I was looking for an app that I could organize everything from deadlines of projects, scheduled payroll, dates for training and everything I needed to do to get prepared for it and much more! I like that I can have it in my phone and that I can access it through the computer also, plus I can add other people and assign tasks and see the status of the projects I’m working on and supervising. Everything in one app only! I’m still learning and trying to help others to use it better as I learn, and I hope to have everything in it, as much as personal as for business, because it works even better than an agenda for me.”

  • Product Details
  • Financial Details
  • Work Culture
Total Reviews: 2318
Categories: Project Management
Average Company Size: 61% of reviewers work for a small business (1-50 employees).
Highest-Rated Features: Asana reviewers rated the tool’s task creation & assignment (93%) and due dates (92%) as its two top-rated features.
Other Products: Asana for G Suite
Total Funding: $88,200,000
Funding Rounds: 5
Number of Investors: 30 (Crunchbase)
Mission Statement: “Asana’s mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly.”

Glassdoor Employee Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars – based on 113 reviews

View all Asana job openings on LinkedIn

Read Asana Reviews

3. 15Five
Product: 15Five
Category: Performance Management
City: San Francisco
Founded: 2011
Employees: 29

For the best organizations, it’s never enough to “coast” — each day is a new opportunity for stepping up across the board. Performance management tools from 15Five provide honest, consistent insights into individual output and morale, addressing challenges and opening pathways for improvement. Victories both small and large are celebrated with High Fives, a simple but effective form of positive reinforcement that inspires continued success.

More than 1,200 companies use the 15Five platform, including HubSpot, Indeed and the American Red Cross. Since the Fall 2017 Grid® Report for Performance Management, 15Five has jumped from a High Performer to a Leader in the category, and has the highest Satisfaction ratings in its field. It’s also a Leader in the Employee Engagement category.

  • Product Details
  • Financial Details
  • Work Culture
Total Reviews: 628
Categories: Performance Management, Employee Engagement
Average Company Size: 46% of reviewers work for a mid-market company (51-1,000 employees).
Highest-Rated Features: 15Five reviewers rated the tool’s peer recognition (95%) and reviews & feedback (94%) as its two top-rated features.
Total Funding: $3,200,000
Funding Rounds: 2
Number of Investors: 14 (Crunchbase)
Mission Statement: N/A

Glassdoor Employee Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars – based on 13 reviews

View all 15Five job openings on LinkedIn

Read 15Five Reviews
“We design and build software for human beings. For us, ‘user’ is a four-letter word, and we prefer ‘person’ or ‘customer.’ In everything we do, we consider the people who will use our products and their pain points that we are solving for. It’s an honor to be recognized and rated so highly, but that rating is simply a beautiful metric that means we make a difference in the lives of thousands of employees, managers and executives. We help people to have richer personal and professional lives by giving and receiving supportive workplace feedback, by growing and developing at work, and by fulfilling the lofty missions established by their companies. Since creating places where people can become their greatest selves is our mission, this pretty much means everything to us.”
Mitchell Yee, Marketing Programs Coordinator at 15Five

4. WordPress Foundation
Category: Web Content Management
City: San Francisco
Founded: 2003
Employees: 2720

Nifty statistic: As of January 2018, WordPress is used by nearly 30 percent of the top 10 million active websites, with a market share of 60 percent. Since its early days in 2003, the web CMS had evolved to be as deep and flexible as its ballooning list of users requires. Now, many of the websites you may visit in a day, and likely some you’ve been personally involved with, have leveraged or to get their message out to the world. And is open source, with a never-ending selection of themes and plugins thanks to both its restless developers and massive community of creative users.

User Nicholas K. sums up their thoughts in a five-star review: “WordPress is always changing, making better updates, more compatibility, etc. My absolute favorite thing about is how easy it is to use modular plugins and themes. Where I work, WordPress is literally the only platform that we build cutting-edge websites on.”

  • Product Details
  • Financial Details
  • Work Culture
Total Reviews: 4857
Categories: Web Content Management
Average Company Size: 69% of reviewers work for a small business (1-50 employees).
Highest-Rated Features: reviewers rated the tool’s content authoring (90%) and user community (87%) as its two top-rated features.
Other Products: View all WordPress products
Total Funding: N/A
Funding Rounds: N/A
Number of Investors: N/A
Mission Statement: N/A

Glassdoor Employee Rating: N/A

View all WordPress job openings on LinkedIn

Read Reviews

5. Salesforce
Product: Salesforce CRM
Category: CRM
City: San Francisco
Founded: 1999
Employees: 29007

Thousands of tech-forward companies have sprouted in the Bay’s fertile soil in recent years. But only one had the gaul — and, perhaps, valuation — to attach their name to the city’s tallest skyscraper. Salesforce Tower is projected to wrap up construction in 2018, and Marc Benioff’s team will be the largest tenant, filling in many of the building’s 61 floors.

How’d they get there, though? The company has 40 products listed on G2 Crowd and are also the organizers of Dreamforce, the yearly “Comic-Con of startups” right in the heart of San Francisco. But if you had to single out its biggest meal ticket, that would be Salesforce CRM, the product that put customer relationship management category on the map. Part of the larger Sales Cloud system constructed by Salesforce, the CRM product provides an up-to-date and easy-to-search log of customers and customer interactions with detailed reports and opportunity insights. There are currently 222 products in the CRM category and this one towers above them like the vendor’s skyscraper is poised to do on the SF skyline.

  • Product Details
  • Financial Details
  • Work Culture
Total Reviews: 5184
Categories: CRM
Average Company Size: 45% of reviewers work for a mid-market company (51-1000 employees).
Highest-Rated Features: Salesforce CRM reviewers rated the tool’s breadth of partner applications (89%) and performance & reliability (88%) as its two top-rated features.
Other Products: View all Salesforce products
Total Funding: $64,375,124
Funding Rounds: 4
Number of Investors: 17 (Crunchbase)
Mission Statement: N/A

Glassdoor Employee Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars – based on 3,600 reviews

View all Salesforce job openings on LinkedIn

Read Salesforce CRM Reviews

6. Okta
Product: Okta
Category: Cloud Identity and Access Management
City: San Francisco
Founded: 2009
Employees: 1308

The makers of Okta have a major conference of their own, called Oktane, which targets the IT community specifically with announcements and forums related to system security. Considering the degree of cybersecurity attacks in 2017, all eyes are on this industry at the moment, and President Barack Obama himself is set to appear at the May event.

Okta offers state-of-the-art solutions for multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, API access management and other corners of the expanding IT security space. It’s the far-and-away Leader in the Cloud Identity and Access Management category, which helps IT departments establish access rules within their organization and authorize the appropriate team members for access to different apps or databases. Customers include Time Warner, Adobe and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). A free trial of Okta software is available on the company’s website.

  • Product Details
  • Financial Details
  • Work Culture
Total Reviews: 138
Categories: Cloud Identity and Access Management, Single Sign On (SSO), Password Manager, User Provisioning/Governance
Average Company Size: 51% of reviewers work for a mid-market company (51-1000 employees).
Highest-Rated Features: Okta reviewers rated the tool’s support of required authentication systems (97%) and supports of BYOD users
(96%) as its two top-rated features.
Other Products: Okta Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication
Total Funding: $229,250,000
Funding Rounds: 7
Number of Investors: 16 (Crunchbase)
Mission Statement: “Our People Commitment:

You will know the Direction and Vision for our Company. You will know where the Company stands. You will know how your job is critical to this and how what you do matters.

We will build a culture of strong people management. We will invest in this and make it great.

We will surround you with people as talented and committed as you.

We will invest in your growth and success. We will push you.

We will have the hard conversation and make adjustments quickly.”

Glassdoor Employee Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars – based on 265 reviews

View all Okta job openings on LinkedIn

Read Okta Reviews

7. Clearbit
Product: Clearbit Enrichment
Category: Sales Intelligence
City: San Francisco
Founded: 2014
Employees: 24

Clearbit is a modest-sized company founded just a few years ago, but with 100,000-plus users and counting, is a model of San Francisco startup success. With the Clearbit Enrichment tool, users can translate a simple domain or email address into a profile with 85 actionable data points. This “rich, real-time person & company intelligence,” as worded on the product’s website, is used by fellow SF powerhouses Asana, Optimizely and Intercom, along with 1,000 other businesses from coast to coast. It’s a Leader and one of the best-reviewed products in the highly competitive Sales Intelligence category.

  • Product Details
  • Financial Details
  • Work Culture
Total Reviews: 283
Categories: Sales Intelligence
Average Company Size: 58% of reviewers work for a small business (1-50 employees).
Highest-Rated Features: Clearbit Enrichment reviewers rated the tool’s APIs (90%) and performance & reliability (90%) as its two top-rated features.
Total Funding: $2,000,000
Funding Rounds: 1
Number of Investors: 11 (Crunchbase)
Mission Statement: N/A

Glassdoor Employee Rating: N/A

View all Clearbit job openings on LinkedIn

Read Clearbit Enrichment Reviews

8. DocSend
Product: DocSend
Category: Sales Enablement
City: San Francisco
Founded: 2013
Employees: 33

DocSend empowers sales teams with intuitive tools for designing, sending and analyzing performance of presentations for current and prospective clients. It’s at least a High Performer in three distinct categories on G2 Crowd — a testament to its range and multi-purpose success with its users. In addition to its utility with sales teams, DocSend helps align messaging with the marketing department and ensure each piece of outward facing content is a group effort with the company’s best interests in mind. Pricing starts at $10 per user, per month for the Personal edition, and the product’s feature set expands along with the level of membership.

In a five-star DocSend review, Joel K. wrote: “DocSend is absurdly easy to use and understand. The learning curve is short, and once you’ve got it down, you can be sending out docs and gauging responses with almost zero effort. We love being able to check in on whether or not a piece has been viewed, and even tag up docs for different campaigns to gauge how well our other outreach or strategy is working.”

  • Product Details
  • Financial Details
  • Work Culture
Total Reviews: 72
Categories: Sales Enablement, Presentation, Proposal, Other Marketing
Average Company Size: 72% of reviewers work for a small business (1-50 employees).
Highest-Rated Features: DocSend reviewers rated the tool’s alerts & notifications (100%) and engagement tracking (97%) as its two top-rated features.

Total Funding: $9,700,000
Funding Rounds: 2
Number of Investors: 7 (Crunchbase)

Mission Statement: “DocSend was founded to help businesses build relationships. We’re here to bring the intimacy of face-to-face conversation to digital communication.”

Glassdoor Employee Rating: 5 out of 5 stars – based on 5 reviews

View all DocSend job openings on LinkedIn

Read DocSend Reviews
“We’re so grateful to be part of such an engaged community of sales and marketing leaders. Our customers — from industry titans to fast-growing startups — are doing amazing things. For them to get so much value out of DocSend — and have them share that back with the community — makes building our product that much more meaningful.”
Dave Koslow, COO at DocSend

9. CircleCI
Product: CircleCI
Category: Continuous Integration
City: San Francisco
Founded: 2011
Employees: 109

With the ever-changing nature of internal code, it’s essential to remain vigilant in testing and fixing — the smallest hiccup can cause an application to go haywire and send a chain reaction through the organization or client base. CircleCI is designed to prevent such a problem with continuous integration, which automates testing and keeps tabs on the critical functions of business applications as updates occur. Considering the omnipresence of coding in the modern work landscape, tools like CircleCI are increasingly essential; and according to G2 Crowd reviewers, this platform is the best at what it does. Facebook, Spotify and GoPro are just a few of the 20,000-plus organizations who trust CircleCI to foolproof their countless lines of code.

  • Product Details

This post first appeared on G2 Crowd, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

The State of B2B Tech in San Francisco in 2018


Subscribe to G2 Crowd

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription