Jive Software (newssite) is getting a lot of attention these days, including a hefty US$ 30 million in investment from some pretty big venture capital firms.

Investing in Jive is a Smart Move

Jive's latest funding announcement comes with whispers of it being the next Google, a comment Jive is smart to take advantage of. The US$ 30 million funding comes from existing funding partner Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). The last time these two venture investors came together apparently was when they made an investment in Google ten years ago.

According to Bob Evans, Information Week, KPCB's participation is not normal:

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.

Ted Schlein, KPCB Managing Partner said the reason the venture capital firm has invested in Jive Software is because they believe social business software is the "most important enterprise software category in a decade." And they see Jive as the "clear market leader".

They aren't the only ones. Research firm Gartner also thinks Jive is leading the way in several markets. They have positioned Jive Software in the leaders quadrant of three of their Magic Quadrants, including: Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software, Magic Quadrant for Social CRM and the Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace.

The Numbers to Back It Up

Of course, just because the analysts love you, doesn't mean you are the best solution available. So you need to have some good sales stats to back it all up. Jive does have that.

Quarter 1 revenues were 35% higher than those of Quarter 1 2009. That's over 6 million individuals with more than 250 million page views per month.  This quarter provided Jive with:

  • Multiple client contracts of over US$ 1 million
  • Their largest customer to date
  • More new business than any other period

What To Do With All That Money

US$ 30 million. What are Jive's plans for this money? Acquisitions is one thing mentioned. Marketing for visibility and awareness is, of course, a given. And there's also that IPO that Jive CEO Tony Zingale has been hinting about.

More updates and product innovation are probably also on the list. This is an area where Jive is showing no signs of slowing down. They launched Jive What Matters, a new social dashboard and joined Google's App Marketplace, along with a number of recent improvements with SBS 4.5.

Is Social Business Software a Must-Have?

Obviously there is a great demand for solutions and platforms like Jive SBS. But many organizations are still struggling in terms of how they fit in the enterprise and how to drive employee adoption. These are the areas we spend much of our time trying to understand.

Integration with existing systems is a critical component of success for these types of solutions. Helping employees use them in a way that supports real collaboration and knowledge sharing is another. These are the areas we want to focus on. 

Of course, we're watching Jive closely to see what the next move is as well.