Enterprise Collaboration Tech Provider Huddle Gets $51M In Funding

Huddle, a developer of enterprise collaboration and file share technology, Thursday unveiled a huge new round of funding the company plans to use to ramp up sales and marketing and better develop its indirect sales channels.

Huddle's new D-round of funding totaled $51 million, bringing total investment in the London-based company to $85 million, said CEO Alastair Mitchell.

Huddle was founded seven years ago and has been in the U.S. about three years with technology to provide secure cloud collaboration services for government and enterprise clients, Mitchell told CRN.

[Related: File Sync And Share: Channel In Demand To Help Business Users]

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"We're all about helping enterprise and government organizations work together on content," he said.

Huddle counts among its customers such large multinationals as Deloitte and KPMG, as well as organizations such as NASA, Mitchell said. Among its investors is the CIA's venture capital arm In-Q-Tel.

Huddle's primary competitive advantage is its enterprise-level collaboration technology, Mitchell said.

Most file sync and share providers focus on social media or offer consumer-grade capabilities, he said. "These are becoming free offerings," he said. "This business is getting commoditized. It's a feature you would expect from anyone."

Huddle instead is looking to displace Microsoft SharePoint and IBM's Lotus, which have been the collaboration platforms of choice to business users for the past 10 or 15 years, Mitchell said. "Those applications were not built for the Web," he said. "We want to replace them with a solution built for the cloud."

Mitchell said there are only a handful of providers addressing the scale and security requirements of enterprise customers, including Microsoft, Google and Huddle. "In this part of the market, you have thousands of people working together, and security is important," he said. "We're the only one accredited for the FedRAMP program, and we're accredited in the U.K. and Europe."

Huddle traditionally has relied on a direct channel model but recently started moving to be more of an indirect channel player.

Huddle is a very easy company to work with, said Bridget Dunnington, CEO and founder of Triad Technology Partners, a Reston, Va.-based government-focused solution provider and Huddle partner.

Triad specializes in bringing innovative technologies such as Huddle's collaboration solution to the federal government, Dunnington told CRN. "We believe in Huddle's technology, especially in a market saturated by SharePoint," she said.

NEXT: Taking Advantage Of The New Funding

One large customer of Triad's, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), uses Huddle to enable collaboration among its 12,000 users, Dunnington said. USAID has integrated Huddle for collaboration and document management with Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tibco Software's Tibbr business social media application, she said.

The fact that Huddle could pull in a $51 million round of funding is a big deal for that company, Dunnington said. "Any time a company gets in a market like the federal government, it needs to be able to focus on compliance," she said. "This round of funding will help Huddle accelerate its investments in these kinds of vertical markets."

The new funding is expected to get Huddle through to profitability, Mitchell said. The company will use it to double the size of its development capabilities and to ramp up sales and marketing resources needed to help it take the initiative in certain areas including indirect channels, he said.