NEA Leads $33M Round In CRM Developer And Salesforce Competitor SugarCRM

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SugarCRM, a provider of commercial open source CRM software, has completed a $33 million equity and debt financing round. We’re told around $14 million of the round was equity financing. The investment round was led by New Enterprise Associates and includes participation from new investors Silicon Valley Bank and Gold Hill Capital as well as the company’s current investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Walden International. To date, SugarCRM has raised over $60 million in equity funding.

While Salesforce tends to grab the most attention as the cloud-based CRM company, SugarCRM has quietly built a loyal, and growing userbase around its customer relationship management platform for sales teams. SugarCRM applications have been downloaded more than ten million times and currently serve over 1 million users from over 6,000 companies in 192 countries.

SugarCRM, which has been cash flow positive since Q4 2010, saw sales grow 67 percent in 2010, and added more than 2,700 companies to its user base. Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, and Avis are all customers.

Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, tells us in an interview that his company is solely focused on giving customers a CRM that is intuitive “and enables them to work the way they want to work.” He adds that SugarCRM isn’t just available to be run in the cloud, but can also be available on-premise or in a virtual, private cloud. It’s this flexibility in delivery models that helps set SugarCRM apart as well.

“NEA supports SugarCRM’s vision to drive increased CRM adoption by offering affordable and easy to use CRM solutions to its customers,” said NEA partner Brooke Seawell, who is joining the company’s board. “We believe SugarCRM is uniquely positioned to serve the market and continue to generate impressive results.”

Although SugarCRM has a worthy competitor in Salesforce, Augustin says the company “wins its fair share of the customer CRM deals.” Augustin also said the company didn’t necessarily need to raise new funds, but did so to have some extra cash in the bank for strategic opportunities, potential expansion and for acquisitions.