Former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya Leads $17M Round In Enterprise Social Networking Platform Yammer

Yammer, an enterprise social network and communications platform, has raised $17 million in new funding led by The Social+Capital Partnership, a new fund established by former Facebook Vice President Chamath Palihapitiya. Previous investors Charles River Ventures, Emergence Capital and U.S. Venture Partners also participated in the round. Palihapitiya will have an observer’s seat on Yammer’s board of directors. This brings Yammer’s total financing to $57 million.

For background, Yammer launched as the “Twitter for businesses” at TechCrunch 50 in 2008. But over the past year, the startup has expanded to become a more comprehensive platform for social networking within the enterprise.

A year ago, Yammer added number of applications to its platform that increased its functionality beyond just a communications platform, including polls, chat, events, links, topics, Q&A, ideas, and more. An activity feed aggregates stories about co-worker actions within all of their enterprise apps (both on and off Yammer) and allows users to follow content. Yammer Connect launched to integrate log-ins into third-party applications and the platform also now supports badges and in-line videos.

And Yammer has grown at a rapid pace. It has been adopted by over 100,000 businesses in 160 countries in less than three years, including employees at more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500. Clients including 7-11, Ford, Southern Company, Shell and SuperValu have deployed Yammer this year.

Palihapitiya said of the investment in Yammer: “Social networking is destined to have as significant an impact on the enterprise as it has already had in our personal lives…Yammer is the clear leader in enterprise social networking and is redefining collaboration, sharing and productivity in a way that will disrupt an entire class of existing enterprise applications.”

Yammer founder and CEO David Sacks says that the company, which raised $25 million last November, didn’t need to raise additional funding at the moment. But the opportunity for Palihapitiya to help advise, scale and provide his insight to the company was “invaluable.”

The new funding will be used to scale operations across its offices in San Francisco, London and Melbourne. The company is hiring employees in sales, engineering and customer support. Palihapitiya isn’t the first Facebook alum to join Yammer. Sean Parker is on Yammer’s Board of Directors, and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel was the first investor in Yammer. And we know the company has ambitions of being the Facebook for the Enterprise.

Yammer faces competition from Jive, Salesforce's Chatter, CubeTree and others.