Startup PBWorks, which was formerly known as PBwiki, specializes in helping businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions collaborate via wikis. The startup has steadily added innovative, real-time features to its platform, most recently integrating Twitter-like microblogging and tapping into the real-time stream. Today, the startup is launching a PBworks “Template Store” that lets users adopt pre-built apps and workspaces that anyone can distribute.
With over 25 different apps, the template app store will include PBWorks forms and community-generated templates. Companies can create, share, and apply workspace templates to solve specific business problems or manage specific industries, including advertising and PR. PBWorks offers apid and free templates.
PBWorks, which had an overhaul of its user interface and features last year, offers businesses with a project management application and a customized wiki workspace, with mobile support, document management, access controls and more. With a real-time makeover, the platform became more attractive. So if a user is editing a page and realizes that he or she needs the input of other team members, the user can request fellow employees to join the appropriate page using IM Collaboration, start a Live Editing session, and use Voice Collaboration to initiate an instant conference call.
Currently, PBworks manages 50,000 wiki groups with over 3 million users and has accumulated a loyal client base. The company serves teams at over a third of the Fortune 500, and was home to three presidential campaigns, the United Nations, The Financial Times and Harvard University.
Like Salesforce, PBworks is a paid subscription service, with no advertising. The company has raised nearly $2.5 million in funding, with its most recent funding round of $2.1 million announced in 2007. Competitors include Microsoft Sharepoint, Jive, and Socialtext.
And of course, we can draw comparisons to Google Wave, Google’s much-hyped new collaboration platform.