SugarCRM Bucks Tide, Wins $20M in Venture Funding

SugarCRM will be building out its global footprint and investing in its engineering bench now that it has completed its latest round of funding.

The open source customer relationship management provider just secured aUS$20 million package, led by New Enterprise Associates, bringing its total funding to $46 million. Existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Walden International also joined the round.

From Dublin to China

The funds will be invested in SugarCRM’s growing global network, as well as in bolstering its engineering staff.

“We are going to continue to hire more engineers as we build out our platform,” Chris Harrick, senior director of product marketing for SugarCRM, told CRM Buyer.

In particular, the firm will focus on building an engineering presence in China.

It will also invest in sales and tech support overseas. Its offices in Dublin and Berlin, for instance, will be adding staff in those areas.

“SugarCRM is not just a product for North America — we are seeing demand for it across all markets around the world,” said Harrick.

Indeed, for a relatively young company — it has been in existence for about four years — SugarCRM has gone global very quickly. It has 2,000 paying customers in more than 30 countries, CEO John Roberts told CRM Buyer in anearlier interview.

Other recent benchmarks for the firm include its release of Sugar 5.0, a platform that includes an Ajax e-mail client; multi-instance on-demand architecture; and module builder, which gives line of business users the means to develop and deploy custom modules within the application.

New Initiatives

The company has made other additions to its product line over the last several days. It introduced SugarCRM stack installers that provide wizard-based installation for Sugar Community Edition, the latest version of its commercial open source CRM application for both the Solaris and OpenSolaris platforms. Its interface allows users to install Apache, MySQL, PHP and Sugar Community Edition.

SugarCRM also announced this past week that it has entered a joint venture with iEnterprises to develop Mobile Edge Express, a “click and run” application for SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) so they can access SugarCRM on their BlackBerry devices to get real-time access to to their contacts, opportunities and cases.

The number of options for companies in this space is growing, noted John Carini, CEO of iEnterprises, which has developed similar platforms for other CRM vendors.

“The small and medium business market has been embracing the SaaS (Software as a Service) model in CRM for years; yet SMBs have been caught stranded, burdened and underserved when it comes to getting access to their CRM wirelessly,” he said.

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