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Video conferencing giant Zoom and data and AI provider Dataiku top the list of 25 highest-rated public and 25 private cloud companies to work for respectively, during the COVID-19 pandemic, by global investment firm Battery Ventures.

SEE: Managing the multicloud (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

The firm, which backs cloud companies, used data provided by Glassdoor.

The list, a twist on Battery’s annual list of highest-rated cloud firms in terms of employee satisfaction, is based on data collected during the first six months of the pandemic (March through August 2020) and includes many companies that successfully raised financing and generated revenue during the period, the firm said.

The companies on both lists represent those where employees report the highest levels of satisfaction at work, according to employee feedback shared on Glassdoor, a worldwide leader on insights about jobs and companies.

Besides Zoom, whose usage has soared as more people work remotely, other companies focused on workplace collaboration—a key theme during this work-from-home period—also won places on the list. They include Slack, DocuSign, Box, Microsoft, and Dropbox.

On the private side, 10 of the top 25 companies, including No. 1 company Dataiku, announced financing rounds during the pandemic (through Nov. 1) worth more than $1.9 billion combined, according to Crunchbase. This demonstrates another potential link between positive company culture and overall corporate performance and growth, said Neeraj Agrawal, a Battery general partner who specializes in cloud investing, in a statement.

A focus on employee well-being

“In my 20 years as a venture-capital investor, I’ve seen several tough markets, but never a period of such unique uncertainty,” Agrawal said. “Today, the cloud companies that are succeeding are ones with great technology and product-market fit, but also those with savvy management teams who understand how to motivate employees during difficult circumstances.”

While this was true before the pandemic, it is even more true now, he added. “CEOs need to be flexible and embrace new strategies—including distributed C-suites, all-remote onboarding processes, and mental health coverage as a company benefit—as they build cohesive cultures for the long term.”

Florian Douetteau, CEO of No. 1-ranked private company Dataiku, said in a statement that his firm has deployed dedicated “happiness managers” to check on employees one-on-one. The company also ordered desks and computer monitors for all employees’ home offices and set up new communication channels to shore up morale, including an internal podcast and small fireside chats, in addition to larger employee meetings.

“We don’t have all the answers by any means, but we know that we must continue to go the extra mile to keep our employees focused as we continue to grow our company,” he said.

Battery last released its highest-rated cloud companies list in the spring of 2019 and focused on employee ratings from the previous 12-month period. This time, “we knew that any data collected before the pandemic would not be very consequential, since the virus has turned most companies upside down,” Agrawal said. So Battery delayed the release of its list and focused on how employees rated companies from March through the end of August.

Thirteen of the top 50 private companies on the 2019 highest-rated list have since gone public or been acquired. They are Zoom, Asana, Sonatype, Sprout Social, Segment, nCino, Looker, Slack, Health Catalyst, ThousandEyes, PagerDuty, Snowflake, and Cumulus Networks, according to Battery.

Two of the companies on this year’s private-company pandemic list, Unity Technologies and Asana, staged public listings earlier this fall, after the close of the 2020 list’s data-collection period, according to Battery.

All the companies on this year’s lists are powering the trend of businesses increasingly turning to the cloud to run critical technology systems and software—a trend that has actually accelerated during the pandemic, the firm said. The highest-rated companies on both lists sell cloud technology in a range of areas, including sales-and-marketing, collaboration, development tools, and finance.

To qualify for the list, private cloud companies were required to have 200 or more employees; at least 20 employee reviews on Glassdoor during the six-month collection period; and have raised funding since July 2016, Battery said.

Public companies were required to have at least $500 million in total enterprise value as of the end of Q3 2020, according to CapIQ.