Over nine years, Globant has been building one of the stronger and more reputable IT companies in South America. It's no easy feat to build innovative software products for a global audience, but Globant seems to have hit the right note with its combination of open source and proprietary software, which have allowed it to become one of the go-to IT outsourcing firms for multinational organizations.
While the Argentinian software company has received plenty of attention from the West, it today received further validation from Silicon Valley, as it announced the addition of well-known serial entrepreneur, investor, and author Reid Hoffman to its Board of Advisors.
The LinkedIn Founder and early Zynga investor joins the company's advisory board on the heels of the $2 million investment made by the Endeavor Foundation‘s Catalyst Program, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting high-impact international entrepreneurs, of which Hoffman is Board Director.
In fact, Globant was the first company funded by the initiative, which beyond Hoffman includes names like Chairman of True North Venture Partners Michael Ahearn, Former Chairman of Warner Music Group Edgar Bronfman, and Pierre Omidyar, the Founding Partner of the Omidyar Network as well as Founder and Chairman of eBay. (The new infusion of capital brings the company's total investment to $30 million.)
And considering Globant is also responsible for the development of LinkedIn's mobile apps for Android and the iPhone, as well as the implementation of the OpenSocial framework to integrated third-party apps into the professional network, it's no wonder that Hoffman led the investment and opted to join its advisory board.
Hoffman also just funded Kiva.org with $1 million to let people try out microlending for free and help needy families start small businesses. Check out kiva.org/free to lend out $25 of Reid's money.
Obviously, the interest in Globant is more than skin deep, as it operates a network of more than 2,500 software engineers (3,000 employees globally), developers, and designers based in 15 locations across Latin America and the U.S. The network of engineers creates software products for a host of international clients, including LinkedIn, Google, Zynga, EA, Citi, Coca-Cola, and Nike - to name a few.
What's interesting is that, considering Globant's prior round was $15 million and revenues for 2011 topped $90 million, the company wasn't exactly in dire need of the additional funding. Instead, it was likely a move to get some superlative leadership experience on board, with greater access to the company and its operations. In Globant's words, its Board of Advisors plays “a key role in defining the strategic agenda and providing advice and guidance.”
There have been rumors of a potential Globant IPO now going back at least three years. And, although Sarah may have jumped the gun a bit on the IPO speculation, as she pointed out at the time, the company has never been interested in a quick sale, instead focusing on growing a business that's viable in the long term. But that was three years ago, and the company is still growing fast (it jumped 72 percent all told last year).
Reid Hoffman has been Executive Chairman of LinkedIn since 2009, before which he was the founding CEO. LinkedIn had a very successful IPO in early summer last year and has gone on to perform well as a public company. Hoffman was also an early investor in Zynga and sat on the board, during Zynga's recent, much-ballyhooed IPO.
If an IPO is on the table for Globant in the near-term, there are few better people to have as an advisor than Hoffman - so it will be very interesting to see what 2012 holds for the company. It could just be the next big South American company heading to American public markets, but don't hold your breath.
For more on Globant, check them out at home here.