While many Internet companies are going public, rising stars in customer
relations management, like SugarCRM, are raising private capital. The company, which is best known for its web-based, open-source CRM
solutions, just wrapped up a $33 million equity and debt financing round.
SugarCRM says it will use the funds to continue its advancement into the enterprise market and to pursue strategic business opportunities.
The company saw strong financial performance in 2011, achieving growth of 67 percent in its top-line billings. The advance is being attributed to increased global adoption of SugarCRM and new product capabilities enabling the company's expansion into the enterprise market.
SugarCRM reports adding more than 2,700 new companies worldwide to its customer roster in 2011. With more than 1 million users and 370 channel partners, SugarCRM is now the third most widely used CRM solution in the world.
Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, reports the company saw demand for CRM solutions grow exponentially in 2011, with an increased number of enterprise companies looking for an open and flexible CRM platform that can scale with their growing businesses. Following growth of 67 percent in 2011, Augustin said the company is off to a great start in 2012.
Led by New Enterprise Associates, the latest round of funding includes participation from new investors Silicon Valley Bank and Gold Hill Capital. SugarCRM's current investors also include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Walden International also participated. Brooke Seawell, venture partner at New Enterprise Associates, has also joined SugarCRM's board of directors.
"NEA supports SugarCRM's vision to drive increased CRM adoption by offering affordable and easy-to-use CRM solutions to its customers," Seawell said. "We believe SugarCRM is uniquely positioned to serve the market and continue to generate impressive results."
Seawell brings 25-plus years of experience in technology finance and operations to the SugarCRM board. In addition, Seawell sits on the board of Glu Mobile, SiTime, and Tableau Software. Before joining NEA as a venture partner in 2005, Seawell served as executive vice president of NetDynamics, an application server software company that Sun Microsystems acquired in 1998. He also served as CFO of Synopsys.
SugarCRM's management hopes the added experience on its board, along with the additional funding, will help drive the company to the next level. The focus now is on expansion into the enterprise market, where competitors Salesforce .com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM are firmly in the lead.