Godard Abel Back as G2 Crowd CEO as the Startup Eyes an IPO

June 26, 2018

Godard Abel is once again G2 Crowd’s CEO.

Abel, a serial entrepreneur and the founding CEO of Chicago startup G2 Crowd, is once again the software review platform’s top executive. Abel co-founded G2 Crowd in 2012 but left the startup when his other business Steelbrick sold to Salesforce for $360 million in 2016.

After working as the SVP/GM at Salesforce for about a year, Abel returned to G2 Crowd as the company’s executive chairman in July 2017.

Tim Handorf, G2 Crowd’s co-founder and current CEO, will transition to chief of product—also his original role when G2 Crowd launched. In addition, Matt Gorniak, also one of G2 Crowd’s co-founders, is returning as the startup’s chief revenue officer. For the past two years, he served as SVP of Global Quote-to-Cash Sales at Salesforce.

The new leadership structure comes as G2 Crowd has experienced rapid grown in recent years. The software review platform, which bills itself as the “Yelp for business software reviews,” raised a $30 million round last year from Accel and LinkedIn, bringing its total funding to $45 million.

G2 Crowd has grown from 60 to 180 employees in the last two years, and it doubled revenue last year, Abel said in an interview.

“Tim (Handorf) really did a phenomenal job leading the company to this level,” Abel said. “But now what we’re thinking about is, how do we really make this a massive, breakout company.”

Abel knows a thing or two about building fast-growing technology companies. Along with Steelbrick, Abel sold BigMachines to Oracle for more than $400 million in 2013.

But Abel believes G2 Crowd has an even bigger opportunity in front of it, and he isn’t shy about his ambitions to one day take the company public.

“We’ve had two good exits, but we’ve kind of never gone all the way and taken a company public,” Abel said. “I think this time we’d like to go one step further.”

G2 Crowd has amassed more than 425,000 user reviews on its platform, and its site sees more than 1.5 million unique visitors a month, the company said.

Image via G2 Crowd


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