Tech Startups that Serve Small Businesses Surge

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The most important thing in tech today is …

the rise of tech tools and platforms that serve small and medium businesses, including those represented on the 2021 Cloud 100 list of startups from Bessemer Venture Partners, Forbes and Salesforce Ventures.

The Cloud 100 list, out today, is conspicuous to me because of the large number of names that focus on serving smaller businesses. Of course, that’s long been true of cloud technology — the pay-as-you-go model for infrastructure and the subscription model for services offered the biggest benefit to younger, more cash-starved companies.

What’s different now, I think, is that innovation energy seems to be focused specifically on smaller companies — not only on giving them tools to punch above their weight, but also on giving them a chance to recast their operating models for a digital post-pandemic era.

I spoke to the CEO of #25 on the list, Gusto, which this morning announced a $175 Series E funding round that values the company at about $9.4 billion. He said he’ll be using the resources to build more back office capabilities for small business.

Coincidentally, Avalara, a public company whose software handles tax and tariffs for businesses, yesterday announced a debt offering of $850 million. A lot of companies that serve small and medium businesses are building war chests.

Coming up today on CNBC’s TechCheck, 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT …

Gusto CEO Josh Reeves

While you were sleeping …

A bipartisan compromise amendment to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill regarding cryptocurrency tax reporting was rejected by the Senate on Monday. CNBC

Google employees based in the same office before the pandemic could see different changes in pay if they switch to working from home permanently, with long commuters hit harder, according to a company pay calculator seen by Reuters. Reuters

In the broader world …

Short-seller Jim Chanos warned that retail investors late in the game could be left holding the bag as more red flags emerged in a speculative stock market. CNBC

On the horizon …

Today: Julia Hartz, Eventbrite CEO in a Fortt Knox 1:1

I’m listening to …