Seesmic (news, site), a consumer client for reading status updates across Twitter, Facebook and other popular social services, yesterday landed a US$ 4 million dollar injection, in part from an enterprise company. See: Salesforce.com.
Seesmic, which has now raised US$ 16 million in total, helps users to manage multiple social networks on both desktop and mobile devices. Through a central dashboard, users can monitor their Facebook, Twitter and other social streams and engage in real-time:
The Enterprise Route
The investment makes sense on Salesforce.com's part, as the CRM company has been working to integrate Chatter with Seesmic over the last year. The coupling means users will now be able to see Salesforce.com customer comments within Facebook and Twitter (go consumerization!).
“Salesforce.com has become a valued partner as we work together to bridge external and enterprise social communication with Chatter," said Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur. "These investments will enable us to reach more enterprise customers.”
On a consumer level, Seesmic competes with platforms like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and Yoono, but the shift toward enterprise collaboration marks a first for this particular shark tank. It'll be interesting to see whether or not it catches on, and who will follow suit.
Softbank Group also invested in Seesmic, and has roughly 10% of its one million registered users in Japan. Seesmic will keep its free offer for end consumers and reportedly launch dedicated offers for business users in the near future.
[Insert Ent. Microblogging Solution Here] vs. The World
The battle between platforms like Chatter and Yammer for the enterprise microblogging crown is heating up fast this year, though the latter seems to be pulling ahead-- a fact Yammer's CEO, David Sacks, is never hesitant to elaborate:
"We estimate they are at least 18 months behind Yammer in terms of the product," Sacks said of Chatter in a recent statement. "It is reminiscent of Yammer circa 2009."
Meanwhile, Chatter has the advantage of being sold into Salesforce.com’s existing base of hundreds of thousands of business users. The product works to pump up Salesforce.com's flagship CRM platform, but can also be used as a standalone solution. It's a slightly different approach than Yammer's, but is certainly serving to broaden their audience. After claiming to be "Facebook for the Enterprise" we wonder how the integration of a consumer product will go over.
What do you think?