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October 13, 2016
Highest-Rated Cloud Companies to Work For, Part 2: The Public Winners

In late August, we partnered with jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor* to highlight the 50 private cloud-computing companies where employees report the highest levels of work satisfaction. Now, we’re back with part two of that research project: isolating the public cloud companies with the best employee scores on Glassdoor—a timely analysis, we think, given that the tech-IPO market lately has been showing signs of life.

Our findings could be considered a little counter-intuitive: Some of the cloud industry’s biggest and most high-profile players–including Salesforce, Adobe, Intuit and Box–made our list, but didn’t crack the top 10. Instead, the top companies on our 25 Highest-Rated Public Cloud Computing Companies to Work For list included Ultimate Software, a low-profile, HR-software company based in Weston, FL, and Instructure, an education-and-training software outfit headquartered in Salt Lake City.

Coming in at number three, however, was Boston marketing-software firm HubSpot, which is well-known in the Boston tech community and highlights the prominence of marketing- and sales-technology companies on our list. Marketing-software firms made up 20%, the highest single category, of the highest-rated public cloud companies. You can see the full company rankings in the chart below.

So why didn’t higher-profile, larger, Silicon Valley/San Francisco-based public companies rank higher? It’s hard to say, and obviously partly depends upon the current and former employees reviewing and rating the companies on Glassdoor. [Tweet “Clearly, companies that are great places to work can be built anywhere”]—something we have always believed at Battery. And often, these companies operate in less well-known, flashy industries. But in general, the companies that made our public highest-rated companies list scored as well, or nearly as well, as the group of smaller, private companies we profiled in late August.

The average employee satisfaction score on our list of 50 private cloud companies—generally smaller firms than their public counterparts—was 4.5, slightly above the 4.2 average for our 25 public companies. (Respondents on Glassdoor rate companies on a five-point satisfaction scale, with five being the highest rating.) However, the top 25 public cloud companies still ranked well above the Glassdoor average overall–3.3.

Cloud companies avg-company-rating-comparison

The average CEO rating in our public- and private-company research was the same, at 94%. The average CEO approval rating across all of the 580,000+ companies on Glassdoor is 67%.

Cloud companies avg-ceo-approval-rating-comparison

Finally, the business-outlook rating for our public companies was just slightly lower, at 80%, than the private companies we surveyed, which came in at 88%. For this metric, Glassdoor asked employees if they felt positively about the future direction of the company. The average positive company-outlook rating across all of Glassdoor is 45%.

Cloud companies avg-business-outlook-comparison

At Ultimate Software, the #1-ranked company on our public-company list, CEO Scott Scherr has a 99% CEO approval rating on Glassdoor, and the company has a 94% positive business-outlook rating from employees. Ultimate, which offers a suite of “people management” solutions—from cloud HR to payroll to other services—was founded in 1990 and went public in 1998.

Perhaps not surprisingly for an HR-software company, Ultimate says its founding principle is “People First,” and it takes collaborative, innovative company culture very seriously. Employees are known as “UltiPeeps,” and Ultimate also has a great track record on diversity: According to the company, as of August 2016, Hispanics and African-Americans comprise 30% of the company’s workforce, and women represent 48%. [Tweet “The company says 43% of all women employed by Ultimate hold leadership positions”] meaning they hold the rank of manager or above.

A few other things to note about our 25-company public list that Ultimate topped: First, one of the companies on it is not an independent public company any longer. This is No. 7 Demandware, which since our original research this past summer has been acquired by Salesforce. The No. 21-ranked company, Netsuite, agreed to be acquired by Oracle during this time period, though that deal has not yet closed. What’s more, there’s been a new burst of tech-IPO activity since we first complied our data, so there are some companies that went public since July 1 that may make our list in the future. The U.S. cloud IPOs that have debuted since July 1 are:

  • Apptio–September 22, 2016 (Glassdoor rating: 3.4)
  • Coupa*–October 6, 2016 (Glassdoor rating: 4.3)
  • Everbridge–September 16, 2016 (Glassdoor rating: 4.2)
  • Nutanix*–September 30, 2016 (Glassdoor rating: 4.4)
  • Talend—July 29, 2016 (Glassdoor rating: 3.9)

Interestingly, about a third of the companies on our public list were founded before 2000—so they have seen rough markets before and survived through good and bad times.

The median amount of years between the companies’ founding date and staging an initial public offering was 8 years. Xero, a provider of accounting software for small businesses, went public on the New Zealand Stock Exchange just one year after its founding date; on the other end of the spectrum, payroll software provider Paylocity was private for 17 years before staging an IPO.

Cloud companies years-from-founding-to-ipo

Battery originally undertook this research project because we believe employee satisfaction is one key proxy for company health—and because we’re fans of transparency, including the type Glassdoor and other companies enable through online company ratings and reviews.

To select the 25 companies on our public list, we first identified all publicly traded cloud companies with a B2B business model that had at least $500 million in enterprise value as of July 1, 2016.  Then, Glassdoor ran the numbers on which of these companies had the highest employee satisfaction ratings— with five indicating “very satisfied” and one signaling “very dissatisfied.” To make our results more accurate, we also screened for cloud companies with 30 or more overall employee reviews on Glassdoor. A company’s CEO-approval rating and positive business outlook rating—indicating the percentage of employees who believe their employer’s business will get better in the next six months–was not taken into account to determine rank or overall company rating, though we display these added data points for additional insight and perspective into each of these companies.

The 25 Highest Rated Public Cloud Computing Companies To Work For are:

Glassdoor, Battery Ventures 25 Highest Rated Public Cloud Computing Companies To Work For
Rank Name Overall Company Rating CEO Name CEO Approval Rating Positive Business Outlook Rating
1 Ultimate Software 4.6 Scott Scherr 99% 94%
2 Instructure 4.6 Josh Coates 98% 92%
3 HubSpot 4.6 Brian Halligan 95% 88%
4 Zendesk 4.6 Mikkel Svane 96% 92%
5 Guidewire* 4.5 Marcus Ryu 96% 91%
6 Paylocity 4.5 Steve Beauchamp 99% 90%
7 Demandware 4.5 Thomas Ebling 97% 90%
8 Five9 4.4 Mike Burkland 90% 87%
9 Shopify 4.4 Tobias Lütke 95% 84%
10 Wix 4.3 Avishai Abrahami 94%** 77%
11 Xero 4.2 Rod Drury 98% 78%
12 Salesforce 4.2 Marc Benioff 97% 85%
13 Cornerstone OnDemand 4.2 Adam Miller 94% 78%
14 Twilio 4.1 Jeff Lawson 92% 82%
15 Adobe 4.1 Shantanu Narayen 94% 81%
16 Splunk* 4.1 Doug Merritt 83%** 78%
17 LogMeIn 4.0 Bill Wagner 89%** 72%
18 CallidusCloud 4.0 Leslie Stretch 89% 81%
19 Mimecast 4.0 Peter Bauer 94% 64%
20 Workiva 4.0 Matthew M. Rizai 84% 69%
21 NetSuite 3.9 Zach Nelson 87% 73%
22 Box 3.9 Aaron Levie 93% 72%
23 MINDBODY 3.9 Rick Stollmeyer 97% 68%
24 Intuit 3.9 Brad Smith 94% 67%
25 Varonis Systems 3.9 Yaki Faitelson 82% 74%


Note: Demandware, ranked No. 7, has been acquired by Salesforce since this data was first collected, and No. 21 NetSuite has agreed to be acquired by Oracle.

**Next to CEO approval rating denotes the data is based on less than 30 ratings.

This material is provided for informational purposes, and it is not, and may not be relied on in any manner as, legal, tax or investment advice or as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any fund or investment vehicle managed by Battery Ventures or any other Battery entity. 

The information and data are as of the publication date unless otherwise noted.

Content obtained from third-party sources, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified as to its accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Battery Ventures has no obligation to update, modify or amend the content of this post nor notify its readers in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

The information above may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or expectations. Predictions, opinions and other information discussed in this video are subject to change continually and without notice of any kind and may no longer be true after the date indicated. Battery Ventures assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward-looking statements.

*Denotes a Battery portfolio company. For a full list of all Battery investments, please click here.

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