Hidden Gems: February Edition

We have over 1500 hundred tools on Stacklist - all submitted by founders who find them essential to their business. You know the big ones. They have substantial market share. Think: Slack, Gusto, Trello ...

Those tools are awesome, as are a handful of hidden gems that aren't quite as famous. They're powerful tools, some new, some rapidly growing. And we think you should know about them!

Base CRM

When a CRM claims to offer "everything you need" in one tool, we think "Ok, thanks. Sweet pitch." But, when we hear it from founders who use a CRM, we think it's worth a closer look. And that's exactly what happened with Base. Founders like Robert Heinecke, co-founder of Breeze, say

"We tested several CRMs but this one was the only one that had all the built-in features we needed and we did not have to install any extensions or develop plugins."

And they speak to how easy it is to setup. Jeremie Habib, Founder & CEO of Gigwell says

“We’ve been really happy with Base. It was simple to set up, and is a great out-of-the-box solution. It’s also intuitive, and has a nice UI. We’ve had some issues with latency, but they seem to be working through it, and keep improving their product. I spent the last 10 years using Salesforce, and it’s so complicated, you have to hire an outside firm to set it up! You don’t need any outside help to get Base up and running.”

Base has a rich and user-friendly set of features and lets you track your sales, manage your customer relationships, and generate quick visual analytics. It makes it easy to add, import and track leads in their platform. Contacts have detailed pages that show you their history, any notes, reminders, collaborators, relevant documents and tasks, and associated contacts. Base also has a few integrations with Harvest, Xero, Zendesk, Outlook, Facebook, MailChimp, and HubSpot. You can subscribe Base contacts to MailChimp lists for email marketing campaigns, ticket Zendesk support emails to your Base contact page, manage Xero invoices, etc.

Fun fact: Get Base and all your licensed users get a pair of Base socks. You're welcome.

Base CRM Pricing: Base starts at $25 per seat/month for 5 seats, a Professional plan for $75 per seat/month and an Enterprise plan for $125 per seat/month.

Keen.io

Keen IO is an analytics API for developers to track any event: signups, upgrades, impressions, powerups, errors, shares, etc. And from basically anywhere on the internet (desktop, backend browser, smartwatch, etc.).

You’d think all that data would be hard to read and understand, right? Well, Keen IO makes it easy to ask it questions and crunch numbers. The Keen workbench has a query designer that lets you pull out any relevant information you want from your events. You get easy to read numbers, charts, and dashboards.

Chart exampleYou can use Keen IO to build your own analytics platform, essentially. Customers of Keen IO have been dissatisfied with pre-packaged analytics tool on the market and are more technologically focused/resourceful to be able to build their customized solution using Keen IO.

From Co-founder Daniel Kador:

“We're developers ourselves, and we had seen a bunch of analytics tools that were all useful but ultimately inflexible. We wanted to give people the power and ability to solve their own custom problems by helping them build it themselves.”

You can also find more information on their resources page and from their GitHub that will help you get started adding and initializing the Keen SDK, along with how to analyze and visualize your data.

Word to the wise ... unless you have full-time, in-house developers, you'll have a hard time reaping the benefits of Keen.io

Keen.io Pricing: If your usage is under $20 per month, Keen IO is free to use. Keen IO’s pricing is based on what you use, and the number of events ran.

Pcloud

The vast majority of startups we interview use Google Drive or Dropbox for their cloud storage. And, unsurprisingly, no one says "geez, I just love my cloud storage solution." That's why we get excited when we hear about tools like pCloud. They're taking a fresh (and thoughtfully designed) approach to file storage, collaboration and sharing.

Rotem Peled, Founder & CEO of Topishare is a big fan of pCloud:

“pCloud started in Bulgaria in 2015 and we got a 60GB promotion. I cannot recommend it enough--it has a very user-friendly mobile app. You can invite specific people, collaborate and it is much easier to manage and more user-friendly than Google Drive or Dropbox.”



pCloud offers encryption to keep important files in your account extra safe. Their client-side encryption works for any file size. You can also backup your files and data through integrations to Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

pCloud Pricing: pCloud offers a free plan for 10 GB of storage. Their Premium plan is $3.99/mo for 500 GB of storage; their Premium Plus plan is $7.99/mo for 2 TB of storage and custom plans for higher needs.

Recurly

If you have ever operated a subscription business, you've probably heard of Recurly. Though most startups defer to the Stripes and Braintrees of the world for their billing needs, Recurly, with only 3% of the startup market, is one of the most expert and comprehensive solutions in the recurring billing space - and one of the easiest for non-technical teams to setup and maintain.

Recurly has been around since the earliest days of the modern recurring payment trend. And it's clear in their robust set of features that they've witnessed and considered every use case permutation that's arisen in the past 8 years. They offer integrations with fulfillment services, flexible billing models (usage-based, fixed recurring, seat-based, etc), fraud & churn management and tax management - to name a few. Recurly sits atop gateways like Paypal, Stripe and Braintree and integrates easily with commerce platforms like Shopify, Squarespace and Wix. 

https://recurly.com/img2/home/product-browser@2x.pngRecurly also offers rich analytics that helps clients optimize the payment process. Reports include detailed overviews of subscriptions by plan, subscriber retention, MRR, and recovered revenue.

Founders are fans of the product because of its analytics features and UX. Josh Weissburg, the Co-founder of Outbound says:

“I’ve been using Recurly for 1.5 - 2 years. It’s a really great product with good visibility and good analytics. It’s a really solid product.”

Recurly Pricing: Their Small Business plans start at $99/month, charges 1.25% of revenue plus $.10 per transaction. They also have a Professional plan that is $299/month with the same transaction charges.

Inspectlet

When it comes to understanding user behavior, Inspectlet says that Google Analytics tells clients the "what," and Inspectlet tell clients the "why." They do this via three core products: heatmaps, user videos and form analytics.

Founders like Limor Elbaz, of Peerlyst, are fans:

“We use Inspectlet for heatmaps. It’s good to see what people are doing on your site, and the recordings of the sessions are helpful. It can be very time-consuming to watch the sessions, but Inspectlet makes this easier by eliminating dead time in the recordings. They cut the sessions down, and condense them for you. It’s great for helping you identify issues in your UI.”

Inspectlet’s heatmaps show where users click most on a page, what aspects of the page grab their attention and how far they scroll down your pages. The Form Analytics product helps businesses understand what aspects of their surveys help and hurt conversion.

We're most excited about Inspectlet's User Videos product, which makes it easy to record videos of how users interact with your site. The videos track and mark clicks users make as they go through a page, including any text fields they fill in. Inspectlet also identify and solve product issues by providing detail on browser and screen size.

Inspectlet makes it possible to select the videos you want to collect, whether it's based on referring sources, new vs. returning visitors, landing pages or exit pages.

Inspectlet Pricing: Though Inspectlet's clients include large companies like Sirius, Michael's & ABC, their pricing makes it easy for companies of any size to use their products. Their free plan for 100 recorded sessions/month, which is a great option for smaller companies that want to run betas. The next plan is $39/month for 5,000 recorded sessions, and then higher plans with more features like downloaded recordings, funnel analytics, multiple account users, etc.