Jive Software's intentions to infuse social-media capabilities into business software got a huge endorsement today as venture-capital kingpins Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital invested $30 million in Jive to fund acquisitions and hire more developers.
Believed to be the largest joint investment that Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital have made since they bestowed their Midas touch on Google more than a decade ago, the $30 million also represents for Jive additional muscle and credibility to slug it out with bigger and better-known companies—from Salesforce.com with its Chatter product, to SAP and others—looking to weave dynamic Web 2.0 features into the relatively stodgy world of enterprise software.
And the $30 million Series C infusion isn't the only boost that Jive's getting in its quest to pull off that ambitious plan, because in today's intensely mobile and social consumer world, CEOs and CIOs and other business leaders across multiple industries are speaking incessantly about collaboration.
Playing right into Jive's wheelhouse is all that customer-side focus on their need to make their enterprises more collaborative internally as well as externally, more engaged with customers and prospects, more open to new ways of working and communicating, and wired in to what's happening in all facets of today's Internet-driven economy.
For Sequoia, the $30 million joint placement marks its third investment in Jive, which to date has now raised a total of $57 million in venture funding.
However, Kleiner Perkins' decision to participate in a Series C round is outside the norm for the company, which generally likes to engage with early-stage companies in order to acquire larger stakes and be able to influence product and marketing strategies in the formative years.
As part of Kleiner Perkins' investment, managing partner Ted Schlein joins Jive's board of directors, and while he's now got a very personal interest in the company's success, Schlein was positively gushing about the company's prospects in comments included in a Jive press release:
"Social business is the most important enterprise software category in a decade," Schlein said. "Jive is the clear market leader, with a strong customer base, best-in-class technology and a deep management team. Jive is poised to become the next great enterprise software company."
In a phone interview yesterday, Jive CFO Bryan LeBlanc and board member and strategic advisor Chris Lochhead said the $30 million gives the company the wherewithal to expand its technology base through acquisitions and a rapidly expanding development team: