SlideRocket Presentation Web App Enters Private Beta; Get Your Invite Here

SlideRocket is another Flash-based presentation app that wants to recreate PowerPoint in the browser and take advantage of the web’s sharing and mashup capabilities.

There are a handful of companies striving to be the presentation tool for the cloud era, including Google, Zoho, Empressr and a Y Combinator startup called 280 North that we covered last week. Ask the guys behind SlideRocket, though, and they’ll tell you that they’ve gone much further than their competitors in building a real business class app, one that’s worth paying for like other SaaS offerings.

While SlideRocket doesn’t plan to launch publicly until this summer, it officially enters its private beta period today and we have 500 invites available for our readers (claim your’s here).

Overall SlideRocket is a very attractive and capable product that does indeed match and exceed the expectations set by PowerPoint. There’s a slew of impressive features I could mention: the ability to import your own fonts, the many different layouts, the special effects for objects such as videos and photos, and the asset library that can be searched by keyword, to name a few. SlideRocket also has pretty sophisticated analytics tool that let slideshow creators track who and how many people have viewed their shows, as well as how long each spent on particular slides.

A heavy emphasis has been placed on community, with users encouraged to share assets like images, themes, and templates with each other. You can also import images directly from Flickr or Yahoo, and spreadsheets from Google.

SlideRocket has been designed with extensibility and portability in mind as well. Third party developers will be able to build components into slideshows using the app’s APIs. The application itself can also be integrated into other online services. The company has already worked with Salesforce to create a version of SlideRocket that operates within Salesforce and makes it easier for sales people to create and track the slideshows they send to clients.

When SlideRocket launches publicly, there will be a free version for single users and two business versions that satisfy the needs of small and large corporations.

SlideRocket raised $2M from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and First Round Capital in December 2007. (Correction: it was their first round of capital; they didn’t raise it from First Round)