The market for social media and collaboration services for enterprises — made popular by the recent, rapid growth and emergence of platforms like Slack, Facebook’s Workplace and Microsoft Teams — continues its hot streak. Today, Igloo Software, a Canada-based startup that has built a Jive-like platform that integrates other software for employees to communicate with each other, access common documents and more, announced that it has raised $47 million, on the back of significant growth of its business, and a few acquisition offers to boot.
The company is active in 80 countries, has around 1,000 paying customers and some 10,000 organizations using a free version of its platform. It works out to “well over” 1 million users on Igloo, said Dan Latendre, the founder and CEO of Igloo, in an interview. The company added 190 paying customers in the last year, representing a growth rate of 79 percent.
The new funding — which comes from Frontier Capital — brings the total raised by Igloo to $56 million after the startup had only raised a modest $9 million in the nine years previously, from investors that included the former CEO of BlackBerry, Jim Balsillie.
Igloo is not disclosing its valuation with this round, but I understand it to be well north of $100 million, and that the company’s goal is to reach a $500 million valuation in the next year or two now that it’s putting its foot on the gas pedal.
Latendre said that the plan with the funding will be to expand the product into new areas of business beyond HR, marketing and IT — the three segments of a business that tend to use Igloo’s products today to offer employees things like tech support, onboarding documents, communication services and more.
While Igloo is very much a part of the SaaS wave — it exists in the cloud, and is built around the idea of storing and serving other documents from the cloud — Latendre said that he has steered the company to think of SaaS not as software but solutions — that is, “Solutions as a Service.”
The reason for this, he said, is because Igloo positions itself as a platform that incorporates lots of other software, including the likes of Slack, as well as Salesforce, Microsoft and Google’s productivity suites, Dropbox and Box and more. The idea here is that incorporating tools that people are already using is the best way of getting them to engage in using them more, and giving end users a choice and flexibility is better than locking them into something.
“What customers don’t want are solutions that lock them into a particular vendor,” he said, “it’s a plug and play architecture that we develop.”
Interestingly, working with a large range of software providers also means that Igloo sometimes also gets approached by these larger companies, as they themselves look for better ways of interfacing with enterprises to grow their revenues per user. The company is a strong collaborator with Microsoft and Salesforce, so my bet is to keep an eye on these.
“As the next generation of employees redefines both the physical and digital workplace, we see a rapidly expanding market for innovative solutions that enable an organization to better engage its workforce by fostering collaboration and connecting employees with the right information at the right time,” said Andrew Lindner, co-founder and managing partner at Frontier Capital, in a statement. He will join the board with this round.