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32. SugarCRM

An open-source way to build customer loyalty

Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM
Source: SugarCRM
Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM

Founders: Clint Oram, John Roberts
Date launched: 2004
Funding: $104 million
Industry disrupted: Customer relationship management (CRM) software

SugarCRM, a Cupertino, California-based company, is taking on Salesforce.com, the Goliath of the customer relationship management market. CRM software allows businesses to manage customer data and helps salespeople better interact and follow up with current and future customers.

Read MoreFULL LIST: 2015 DISRUPTOR 50

SugarCRM's technology was launched in 2004 as an open-source software solution and quickly drew a large following among smaller customers who couldn't afford the more expensive enterprise CRM solutions offered by the company's competitors—including Salesforce.com. To bolster its mobile capabilities, the company in March bought Stitch, a small start-up co-founded by ex-Salesforce executives that created a mobile-first platform for salespeople to proactively follow and close deals. SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin has said the new mobile capabilities will further improve what salespeople can accomplish when they're out on the road.

Gartner estimates that the global CRM market will top $36 billion by 2017, up from $20 billion this year. Top investors in SugarCRM, including Goldman Sachs, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Walden Venture Capital, have poured $104 million into the company, no doubt impressed by its chances of taking market share in this growing industry.

"SugarCRM co-founder and CTO Clint Oram was determined to fix what he saw as a fatal flaw in conventional CRM solutions: Sales and support teams did not like using them, and they were too expensive to put in the hands of every customer-facing employee." -Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM

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