Exciting news this morning from Cloud content management and collaboration company Huddle. The UK founded but now US/UK headquartered company is this morning announcing a Series C funding round to the tune of $24M. The round takes Huddle’s funding to $40 million in the five or so years since it was launched.
Huddle is an interesting company – it sits in a similar space as Box but has generated less Silicon Valley buzz – partly because the Huddle founders, Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin are British and hence stereotypically a little reserved (at least compared to the hyper-exuberant Box CEO Aaron Levie). While not being as flashy as the competition however, Huddle has quietly been building momentum – I wrote about their previous all-of-Government deal for the UK government, but outside of that Huddle boasts of serving over 100000 organizations including deployment within 80% of the Fortune 500 companies – some big names using Huddle for at least part of their operations includes Diageo, Kia Motors, Procter and Gamble, NASA, Sodexo and Unilever.
Interestingly enough, Huddle’s Series C is a huge $10M more than Box’s Series C. While these sorts of comparisons are, at least to an extent, some kind of Freudian penis envy game, it’s fair to say that the number, relative to Box’s number, is quite an achievement given the stronger awareness that Box has – at least in Silicon Valley. I surmise that this has something to do with Huddle’s success globally, including the high profile UK Government deal – these wins give VCs faith that Huddle’s proposition can scale geographically.
Huddle is trying to differentiate itself in the content collaboration landscape – a very busy place with both facebook and Google entering the market and joining Box, Dropbox, Syncplicity (recently acquired by EMC) and many others. Part of this differentiation comes from something I wrote about previously, their “intelligent file synchronization tool”, a tool that utilizes aggregate data from employee usage patterns to determine which files are most relevant to users and these files are fully synchronized between devices – the idea being to save bandwidth and precious storage on mobile devices and also to offer users a faster collaboration experience.
Content collaboration is a massively hot area – and already we’ve seen some M&A activity that will only increase over time. Both Box and Huddle are well places to provide a consistent and credible enterprise story in the space and they’re both building successful businesses. Box looks set to IPO in the next 18 months or so which will heat things up even more. As for Huddle, they’ll use this money to increase head count and continue building a customer base globally.
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog – SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)