SugarCRM pushes for more growth

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SugarCRM held its annual conference last week and took the opportunity to unveil new products, a new board member and its latest round of venture capital funding — as well as an ambition to one day take the company public.

The company has secured $20 million in additional financing, led by New Enterprise Associates and joined by existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Walden International. The money will primarily be invested in research and development and global expansion focused in Europe and Asia. SugarCRM executives hope that continued growth of the company will help move the entire CRM industry to an open, value-based model. This latest round of funding brings the company's total funding to $46 million.

“Based on the success we've been having on a company level, it was clear that we were in a position to grow even larger and faster,” said John Roberts, CEO and co-founder of SugarCRM. “As a result, we made the decision to grow faster, to invest more heavily in [research and development] and grow internationally to build a global support infrastructure for CRM.”

Roberts added, “In two years' time, I don't think it's unrealistic to say I'd like SugarCRM to be the first commercial open source to go public, and that's really the core basis of the $20 million investment.”

As a result of its R&D, the company is rolling out two new products. One is Mobile Edge Express for SugarCRM, a mobile application co-produced by iEnterprises. The on-demand application is designed for use by small and medium businesses and allows Blackberry users to interface with SugarCRM on their smartphones.

Stack installers for SugarCRM will also enter the market this year. They are supposed to make it easier for customers to install Sugar Community Edition — the latest version of Sugar's commercial open source CRM offering.

Mark Leslie, a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, has been appointed an independent member of the SugarCRM Board of Directors.

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