Six best tools for early stage startups



So people have started to give you money for the product that you’ve poured your heart and soul into? Congratulations! Now it’s time to set yourself up with the best tools for early stage startups. The journey from your first product traction to company that will grow into something scalable is a journey full of skeletons of great products that couldn’t build a business around it. Let’s have a look at five tools that every startup should look into as they scale.

  1. Segment

  2. Hubspot

  3. Carta

  4. Xero

  5. Zapier

  6. Contract Sent


Wow, what a tool this is. Data is king when your building your startup journey and there is a looooot that Segment can do. Segment bills itself as a leader in customer data and for good reason. It’s a tool that can be used from a very early iteration of your product to give you insights into product usage and the events that people are triggering within your platform. Why, you may ask, is this better than Google Analytics and just setting up goals that you want to get customers to? Good question.

Segment is not only one of the best tools for early stage startups because of its ability to track product usage it’s also in the list for its ability to push this data into multiple places. Want to trigger a notification to a sales person when a lead has done a certain action in your platform? Well you know what, let’s push that notification into Slack, where the sales team live every day and where it’s clear if that has been acknowledged. I once worked at a startup that got to two million ARR before it even had a CRM, they just pushed sign ups and sign up activity into a Slack channel via Segment and picked them off as leads. Crazy.


If you want to start a fight over Hubspot vs Salesforce do it somewhere else. Hubspot is intuitive, easy to set up and has soooo much to offer as a free tool. You can use it for anything from building landing pages, live chat, support, marketing and building your sales pipeline before you even pay for it.

Most startups are cash strapped and Hubspot will be your best bet to get kicked off without adding to your costs. You can pay a small amount on a monthly basis for SAAS marketing tools which can be super useful to get kicked started. One caveat around this is to be careful what you do with Hubspot as it can cause you data integrity issues later on if you don’t build properties in a thought out manner. Hubspot’s ticketing system can also work as an adhoc tool for contract management.

In some early stage startups I have seen Hubspot properties used as contract tracking tools which can then be used in reporting exposure to liability amongst other things.


Equity and employee share schemes made easy. Really really easy. And cheap. They even have a free plan. A lot of early stage startups really struggle with equity, how to get the correct documentation in place and how to compensate early employees. Carta really is one of the best tools for early stage startups for this use case.

Carta also scales, there is a number of companies that have closed Series A, B, C rounds using Carta.


I might be bias because I’ve used this at almost every early stage startup in the UK, Canada, the US and Australia but it’s a great little accounting tool that will help you scale your SaaS invoicing. It will get you to five million in ARR easily with some basic automation and reporting functions that allow you to break down business functions.

What is bad about Xero? When using it in the USA there is only a few different states that it supports for employee payroll and you’ll need a different tool. I’d recommend Gusto.


Connections, connections, connections. One thing that will slow you down a lot when you scale is different data sources not agreeing with each other. If you don’t know what is correct how can you make decisions on what to do?

Zapier is a super easy to use, no code API tool that will allow you to integrate a lot of tools that don’t already have native integrations.

Contract Sent

Again, we’re a bit bias here. But having sent a lot of time and money trying to properly navigate contract negotiations in B2B SaaS companies we made this tool specifically to fix the problem. Contract Sent allows you to have a clear view of where every contract sits, estimated finish times as well as compare versions to each other and clearly communicate commercial decisions that need to be made. No more reading though thirty page documents just to find what has changed even after your legal team has reviewed things. Manage the end of your pipeline with a clear overview so you can close more deals faster.

best tools for early stage startups