SaaS Pioneer Open-Xchange Raises $20M To Expand Its Cloud-Based Services

Open-Xchange, a maker of Web-based communication, collaboration and office productivity open-source software, has received $20 million in funding from United Internet, former Deutsche Bank COO Hermann-Josef Lamberti and existing shareholders. Part of the proceeds will be used for a secondary transaction.

This investment round is notable because it’s the first time Open-Xchange has announced new funding since 2008, when it raised a $9 million Series B. The company has delivered Open-Xchange in the form as software-as-a-service (SaaS) for six years, making them pioneers in that area, and it’s now poised to take advantage of the shift toward cloud office systems, which Gartner estimates will rise from 50 million users today to 695 million by 2022.

The company plans to use the funds to invest in software development, professional services and international business development, as well as marketing and sales.

Open-Xchange launched OX App Suite earlier this year, an integrated Web desktop that shares information and files across devices, allowing users to manage their files, email and contacts. In March, the company also introduced OX Text, the first application of its Cloud-based office productivity suite OX Documents, which was built by original members of the OpenOffice team and enables document editing in browsers. Open-Xchange plans to complete the software suite with spreadsheet and presentation editing apps within the next 12 months.

The company says that its revenue and user base has grown 50% year-over-year in the last three years, and now has 75 clients that reach 80 million end users, including customer accounts of telcos, hosting providers and ISPs.

“Open-Xchange has the potential to disrupt the cloud market in the coming years. Its technology will change how businesses and private users will buy and consume cloud services. Open-Xchange is uniquely positioned in this market, enabling telcos, web hosters, mobile and cable operators alike to successfully compete with over-the-top giants like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft,” said Lamberti in a statement.

The company also announced two new additions to their supervisory board: Lamberti and Dr. Oliver Mauss, the CEO of United Internet subsidiary United Internet Ventures.

“Open-Xchange’s vision of becoming the web desktop for cloud services makes this one of the most exciting software investment opportunities,” said Mauss, CEO United Internet Ventures.