Smarter-email startup Xobni has raised $7 million in a B round of financing from Cisco Systems and existing investors Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures, and Atomico. Three of the four existing investors increased their ownership stakes in the company. But Cisco led the round, highlighting the importance of enterprise e-mail for Xobni (that’s where the money is). CEO Jeff Bonforte says:
The people that use our product are professionals and corporate users (around 70% in North America), so we have always had a corporate focus (it is Outlook after all). We have been fielding a ton of demand to license our software for users in corporate environments…so we have been addressing that demand. Cisco’s participation recognizes that Xobni is being used heavily by corporate users (and professionals like lawyers, real estate agents, etc). Cisco knows those customers really well, so this is a big bonus for us to have them helping us.
Obviously, building a business around these types of users and usage is a lot more straightforward than an advertising-based web 2.0 company.
Xobni previously raised a little more than $4 million. Its last round was in March, 2007. Its e-mail plug-in has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times. Xobni was in acquisition talks with Microsoft last year, but nothing came of it. Cisco’s interest in enterprise e-mail picked up last August with its $215 million purchase of PostPath, which it folded into its WebEx business. So there might be some product integration opportunities for Xobni as well. (Read our previous coverage on Xobni here).