Alfresco Raises A Fresh $45M To Fuel Open-Source Enterprise Content Management

Alfresco, an open source, enterprise content management startup, is today announcing a new round of funding of $45 million —  a Series D round that is more than twice as big as all of its previous rounds put together.

The UK-based company competes against legacy services like EMC Documentum (which was co-founded by one of Alfresco’s co-founders, John Newton) and Microsoft SharePoint to help large organisations manage their disparate document storage both in the cloud and on-premises, and also offer versioning control and other compliance requirements across mobile, PC and other devices. Alfresco will use the new funding to step its business up a gear, with new sales and marketing efforts, and moves into more cloud-based services that could see it competing more directly also against the likes of Dropbox, Box and Huddle.

“We don’t see companies like these in a competitive situation today,”Doug Dennerline, Alfresco’s American CEO, told me in an interview, noting that they are not regular names Alfresco sees when contracts come up for tender. “Maybe we will when we start to ship more SaaS products. Today we focus on high-value assets. If compliance or versioning is a requirement, that’s where we will start to play.”

This latest round was led by Sageview Capital, with participation from previous investors Accel Partners, Mayfield Fund and SAP Ventures, and brings the total raised by Alfresco to $65.4 million.

Dennerline, who came to the company just over 18 months ago to drive its growth (at the time they were even pitched to me as just about to IPO), would not disclose the valuation of Alfresco to me, but he did say that it is now in the “hundreds of millions.” It comes as Alfresco clocks up 1,800 active customers in 212 countries, and managing over 7 billion documents for 11 million users. As a point of comparison, that’s double the number of users Alfresco had in March 2012.

On the subject of going public, Dennerline says that his company is still a ways from that.

“When they hired me 18 months ago, the intent was to go public,” he says, “and that’s why they wanted a U.S.-based CEO. We’re hopeful that we will get there. We are growing triple the rate of the ECM market, and it would make sense for us, but will need to build in more predictive models first.” That is one area where SaaS could come in handy.

The company, he says, is not profitable right now “by choice,” as it continues to invest in growth.

It’s a state of finances that its investors are satisfied with for now, Dennerline says. “Alfresco has clearly established itself as the de facto ECM platform for customers who desire smart and modern software that unlocks the power of business-critical content, process and collaboration,” said Ned Gilhuly, Founding Partner at Sageview Capital, in a statement.

“We are focused on providing growth capital for companies that bring an innovative approach to large market opportunities.  As demonstrated by its superior growth, product strength, partner ecosystem and leadership team, Alfresco is a great fit for our portfolio.”