Software product planning platform Productboard raises $72M

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Productboard, a startup developing a DevOps orchestration system for enterprises, today announced that it raised $72 million in a series C round. The company says that the funds will be put toward expanding its team and customer base while supporting product research and development.

An estimated 19% to 23% of software development projects fail, with that statistic holding steady for the past couple of decades, according to data compiled by Ask Wonder. Standish Group found that “challenged” projects — i.e., those that fail to meet scope, time, or budget expectations — account for about 52% of software projects. Often, a lack of user involvement, executive support, and clear requirements are to blame for missed benchmarks.

Productboard was founded in 2014 by Hubert Palan and Daniel Hejl, who sought to build a service that could tackle some of the most common DevOps challenges. The platform enables companies to create single product feedback repositories and prioritize what to build next, ostensibly helping to mitigate bottlenecks in the creation process.

“Product teams often use an assortment of PowerPoint, email, Post-It notes, Slack, and other generic task management and engineering tools,” Palan told VentureBeat via email. “While a lot of these tools are free, they fall short when it comes to delivering the structure, best practices, and flexibility provided by tools built specifically for product management. There are a few other roadmapping tools out there in the market, but they don’t offer a full-fledged, customer-centric product management platform. Productboard is the first enterprise-ready, customer-centric product management platform that organizes the product development process around customer insights, creates alignment between product, and go-to-market teams.”

Optimizing product planning

With Productboard, companies can consolidate support tickets, Slack messages, and sales conversations in a single dashboard.  Moreover, they can categorize product ideas, requests, and feedback to route back to product teams for resurfacing down the road. Insights can be highlighted in each piece of user research or feedback and linked to a related feature idea. Once approved by a manager, developers can indicate the importance of these features, rating them on a 0-3 scale.

Productboard also lets teams share product roadmaps to which they can add features and custom filters. Each roadmap can be tailored to different audiences with leadership-, company-, delivery-, and customer-focused views. And roadmaps can be integrated with existing workflows in Trello, GitHub, Jira, and other DevOps platforms.

Productboard

Above: Productboard’s interface.

Image Credit: Productboard

Productboard’s other headlining feature is its product portal, which lets companies show which features are planned, what’s been launched, and user feedback. Product boards hosted by Productboard can surface top-requested features and update customers about features that they requested, or serve as an internal brainstorming board for developers.

“Productboard uses its own product … to showcase planned features and receive feedback from customers and prospects, which includes ways the company is incorporating AI and machine learning into the product,” Palan said. “For example, Productboard is currently working on machine learning algorithms to auto-suggest existing features relevant to the customer feedback a user is processing within the platform. The keywords found in the features’ names and descriptions or in other insights and notes already linked to these features can drive these suggestions and the algorithm is constantly trained by product managers using the platform and users submitting structured feedback via the customer portal.”

Productboard, which employs over 200 people, has indirect competition in a number of startups vying for a slice of the more than $3.42 billion DevOps tools market. For example, there’s Tasktop, which recently nabbed $100 million to turn DevOps metrics into visualizations at scale. Meanwhile, Harness coordinates DevOps and cloud spending across multiple platforms. But Productboard claims to have over 4,000 customers including Zoom, Microsoft, UiPath, and 1-800 Contacts.

“In today’s incredibly fast-paced world, companies are in a race to bring their customers the best products possible. Yet, most product teams still don’t have a system of record that brings together customer insights to inform and drive their product strategy, prioritization, and roadmapping process,” Palan continued. “Productboard is building the first customer-centric product management platform and working to help companies worldwide deliver better digital product experiences.”

Tiger Global Management led Productboard’s latest funding round with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures, and Bessemer Venture Partners. It brings the San Francisco-based company’s total raised to date to over $137 million.

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