Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week's quest to uncover budding Rule Breakers finds there's big demand for on-demand and that Foolish investments sometimes come in tiny packages.
First up this week is SuccessFactors, which, like Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM ) , provides software for managing business functions through a Web browser. SuccessFactors, however, specializes in human resources, while Salesforce.com has built a business around managing customer relationships.
On Monday, SuccessFactors announced that it had raised $45 million in funding from Greylock Partners, Canaan Capital, TPG Ventures, Cardinal Venture Capital, and Emergence Capital Partners. That's hardly surprising. "On-demand" software has developed a following for its simplicity. It's typically far easier to maintain than classic install-and-upgrade software of the variety traditionally offered by Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL ) , and SAP (NYSE: SAP ) .
Of course, it's not yet clear whether the on-demand model will make a notable dent in the sales or profits of legacy software giants, especially since both Oracle and SAP have their own on-demand platforms. But VentureWire says that five firms dabbling in the technology received new rounds of funding this month alone. Call me crazy, but to me, that sounds like a movement.
Next up is nanotech. The small science has been attracting plenty of investor attention lately, and I'm not just talking about Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick Harris & Harris (Nasdaq: TINY ) , either. Witness OVP Venture Partners. VentureWire says the private equity firm recently raised a $207 million fund for multiple nanotech investments, including NanoString Technologies, which is attempting to place bar codes on molecules. Could more opportunities be emerging for regular Rule-Breaking investors? Certainly, there's room: There were only 77 nanotech firms among the 5,406 active venture-backed companies tracked in a recent report by Ernst & Young and Dow Jones VentureOne.
That's all for now. See you back here next Friday when we continue the quest to find the next ultimate growth stock.
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Fool contributorTim Beyersowns shares of Oracle. You can find out what else is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Foolprofile. The Motley Fool has an ironcladdisclosure policy. Starbucks is an active Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick, and Microsoft and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value picks.