Spiceworks Rakes In Cloud Management Funding


Spiceworks got a massive funding boost with a $25 million financing round the company said it will use to continue its marriage of social networking and cloud and network management.

The $25 million Series D funding round brought in new investors Adams Street Partners and Tenaya Capital, along with participation from existing investors.

According to Spiceworks, the company will leverage the funding to continue to expand its business model to include integrated commerce within its Spiceworks social business network for IT professionals and technology vendors.

"[A]s you know we've been working hard to find more and more ways to integrate commerce directly into the Spiceworks experience," Spiceworks co-founder and CEO Scott Abel said in a blog post announcing the funding jolt. "You've been asking for this for almost two years and we've made some great progress -- but it just isn't fast enough. The new ideas are coming in faster than we can try them out and we wanted to be able to move more quickly and creatively while still providing a fantastic user experience. This money gives us the freedom to do just that."

Spiceworks' cloud management play, often compared to popular social networks, bills itself as the "social business network for IT." The company makes an application that provides free network management, network monitoring and help desk support with a Facebook-like community of IT professional through which organizations collaborate and support management of cloud and on-premise technologies.

"The average business in the Spiceworks network spends over $275,000 annually on technology," Abel said in a statement. "By marrying social networking, IT management and commerce, we're transforming how businesses will discover, research, and buy products and services in the trillion-dollar IT industry."

Last month, Spiceworks added support for Google Apps for Business and Rackspace to its management platform with the launch of Spiceworks version 5.1. The update lets the Austin, Texas-based company's 1.4 million small business IT pros activate and mange Google and Rackspace cloud environments in the same fashion they manage their on-premise ecosystems.

Along with network and cloud management capabilities, Spiceworks lets users create purchase lists, renew warranties, and buy cloud services from select vendors. And over the coming year, Spiceworks said it will add social commerce capabilities to its platform, including group purchasing and deals, integrated request for quote with the leading technology vendors, and the purchasing of IT products and services built directly into the workflow of the application.

Adding $25 million to the fold adds to the $16 million in funding Spiceworks raised in early 2010.

Spiceworks is among a group of well-funded cloud computing vendors that have received massive financial injects in recent months as the cloud computing market sets to explode. Forrest Research estimated that the cloud market will reach $241 billion come 2020.

And in its own research Spiceworks found that IT pros in the SMB space expect to spend 26 percent of their budgets on hosted and cloud services, and 40 percent of SMBs plan to purchase, upgrade or renew hosted e-mail services sometime in 2011. Spiceworks said the release of version 5.1 will give SMBs an on-ramp to the cloud.