Knowledge Tree Raises $4.75 Million To Advance SaaS-Based Document Management

Knowledge Tree started as an on-premise software company. In 2010, the company pivoted to the cloud. Today, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) company originally from South Africa announced a $4.75 million Series B round of venture capital investmen from River Cities Capital Funds, Core Capital Partners, Hatteras Funds, and lead Series A investor Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa.

Knowledge Tree provides a twist the normally mundane task of document management by using social technologies to help in the authoring and subsequent collaboration around documents within a structured environment.

The structure comes in its workflow technology and features that include audit trails, activity histories, threaded comments and versioning.

Knowledge Tree’s social features combine social discovery with elements of game mechanics. It now has plug-ins to Microsoft Word to collaborate on documents. It plans to offer its own Web-based authoring environment that will allow co-editing, similar to Google Docs. Features also include a leader board on the dashboard that lists the authors who have developed the best content.

Knowledge Tree is used by legal and financial teams in mid-market companies. It competes with companies such as Microsoft Office 365 and Spring CM.

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Daniel Chalef credits Hasso Plattner Ventures in helping his South African company make the journey to the Southeast United States where it has settled in Raleigh, NC. The company started looking to expand to North Anerica from Cape Town after it started getting calls from Silicon Valley venture capitalists. Hasso Plattner’s VC firm provided the initial $2.2 million in funding to make the move.

It’s a good story and shows the leverage that SaaS plays have in the market. Ten years ago, on-premise software companies would have been the ones making moves from overseas. Today, it’s the SaaS players most sought after. The enterprise market is shifting Investors are looking worldwide for companies that work int he cloud more so than installed on a server in a corporate data center.