DoubleDutch Adds $4M to Build Out Mobile-First Enterprise CRM Apps

In September BetaKit covered DoubleDutch, a company that offers a suite of enterprise engagement apps, and the launch of Hive, its mobile CRM app for iOS and Android. Today the company announced that it has raised $4 million in Series B funding led by FLOODGATE Fund, with participation from Lightbank and Bullpen Capital. The new funding is in addition to $3 million in existing funding, including $2 million in April 2012, and the company says it will use this new round for international expansion and marketing.

DoubleDutch is trying to capitalize on the mobile-first enterprise social trend, with a suite of apps that include Hive, as well as white label enterprise event app Flock, and free mobile collaboration app Pride. Flock alone is being used by over 140 enterprise-level customers, including Cisco, Lowe’s, and 3M, and the company reports that it now has almost 250,000 users across the three apps.

CEO Lawrence Coburn said they haven’t used the funding they raised earlier this year, but wanted to raise additional funding to support international growth, including an Amsterdam office opening in February 2013, as well as to be able to scale up their marketing efforts. “This funding is really about bringing this story to market, so it’s more on the business side,” Coburn said.

He said the ultimate goal of DoubleDutch is take robust online software and deconstruct it into several mobile apps, similar to what Facebook is doing with one mobile app for general users, one app for businesses to manage their pages, and of course Instagram’s photo app. “We think that as mobile increases its penetration and mobile becomes people’s primary computing platform, all software is going to have to be deconstructed for the new reality,” he said. “The way we see the next great CRM is as a series of mobile-first applications that work together on the backend, that together between 3, 5, 7, 10 different apps, perform the same functionality as a single desktop-first CRM.”

The company’s Hive CRM app connects with users’ Salesforce accounts, and aims to give the context based on their location, calendar, and behavior. Though Salesforce has a mobile app, Corburn said at the time of its launch that the goal of Hive was to be relevant wherever a salesperson uses it, with the goal of getting them to update records several times per day. So far it’s being used by approximately 500 enterprise teams. They will also be adding integration with other CRM systems including Netsuite and Microsoft Dynamics, something Coburn believes will be key to the company’s success.

“No one is going to replace their multimillion dollar CRM deployment with some startup. The way to enter a giant market like this is to embrace and extend, so we’re very conscious that we need to play nice with the big players in CRM.

While the company will focus on its existing suite of apps for the time being, Coburn said in 2013 they plan to build out apps to help companies after a lead has been converted to a customer, focusing on customer service and other areas. One question is whether customers will want to pay for DoubleDutch’s apps on top of their existing subscriptions to services like Salesforce. Hive’s app is free for up to three seats, with premium accounts starting at $20 per seat, which would be on top of their existing Salesforce subscriptions (which start at $125 per user per month).

With competitors in the CRM space like Salesforce, Zoho, and smaller CRM startups including Reachable, not to mention a whole host of general enterprise social apps, the space is becoming increasingly competitive. Coburn believes DoubleDutch’s mobile-first approach, which relies on integrating with existing web-based apps rather than building solutions from the ground up, will be key, especially since they don’t want to create any desktop solutions, rather just augment them. “There is a desktop version of our CRM, and it’s called Salesforce. In terms of desktop systems, Salesforce is wonderful, so we don’t see a need to replace them yet.”

Convincing enterprise social users that they need their apps, especially when platforms like Salesforce already have their own mobile apps, will be a hard sell, but the company’s traction seems to point at companies moving to a mobile-first strategy.

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin has covered startups and technology for over three years in publications including Sprouter Weekly, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Mashable, and VentureBeat. She also writes a regular startup column for the Financial Post, and is a technology expert on CTV News Channel. Before BetaKit Erin worked as Director of Content & Communications at Sprouter from its launch in 2009 until its acquisition by Postmedia Network Inc. She was recently named one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2012.

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