Estonian startup Cloutex has closed a $600,000 seed round from United Partners, SmartCap and EstBan business angels. Former Skype Estonia General Manager and angel investor, Tiit Paananen, is also part of the round.
The startup had previously raised a small pre-seed from business angels Riivo Anton and Gerri Kodres and Startup Wise Guys, bringing its total funding to-date to $700,000 a year after launch.
Cloutex launched its service in Spring 2013 and says it currently has “hundreds” of customers.
The startup has built what it calls a “cloud integration hub” software service offering. The service allows small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to link and bi-directionally sync their usage of multiple third party cloud-based software services, such as e-marketing, CRM and accounting tools like Salesforce.com, Quickbooks Online and Magento.
The idea is to cut down on the legwork SMEs have to do to keep customer data up-to-date across multiple systems — so instead of having to manually input a customer’s new address into multiple databases, for instance, Cloutex will automatically sync that data across all the integrated systems. The system checks for new updates as often as every few minutes.
In terms of the competitive landscape, Cloutex is focusing specifically on SMEs, and argues that its system allows them to link up different data silos at a lower cost than custom solutions, with a monthly fee for its basic service costing $29 (it says rival offerings can be more akin to thousands of dollars per month).
It also supports the ability to sync existing data, not just enter new info — which it says sets it apart from other rivals in the space.
Cloutex currently supports nine so-called “connectors” — i.e. third party services that it can sync data from and to — but has ambitious plans to expand that number out to hundreds. Part of its new seed funding will therefore go on increasing headcount to support that drive to integrate with more third party services.
Its other current focus is market expansion, specifically targeting the U.S. where many of the cloud services it wants to integrate with are based. Cloutex is planning to open an office in Silicon Valley — and relocate part of the business there, although it says it will keep development in Estonia.