• United States
by China Martens

Open source player Alfresco receives $8 million in VC backing

Feb 08, 20062 mins
Asset Management SoftwareEnterprise ApplicationsOpen Source

Alfresco Software has closed $8 million in Series B venture capital funding, the open source enterprise content management software start-up announced Wednesday.

The company intends to spend the money on adding more features to its software and more fully automating customer support, according to John Powell, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Alfresco.

The current release of Alfresco’s ECM software focuses on the management of core business documents created using Microsoft’s Office application suite and its open source competitor OpenOffice, Powell said in a phone interview Wednesday. Next on Alfresco’s agenda is adding the ability for users to do Web content management, he added. Alfresco has already hired an engineering team to work on the additional functionality that should appear in the company’s software in the middle of this year, according to Powell.

On the support side, Alfresco will use the venture capital funding to improve the automation of the delivery of information to its customers, Powell said. He estimates that there have been 120,000 downloads of the company’s ECM software since Alfresco first launched the product at the end of October. The numbers have “greatly exceeded our expectations,” Powell said — Alfresco’s initial target for software downloads was 10,000 by December.

It’s hard to say how many of those downloads have and will translate into companies using the product, Powell said, because the organizations are using the open source version of the software without any support. So far, 16 firms have signed up for enterprise support contracts with Alfresco, he added.

There’s been a flurry of e-mail and downloads originating from Indonesia, with the largest newspaper in that country basing its ECM on Alfresco’s software, according to Powell. He said other users include people within the New Zealand government and France Télécom SA.

Alfresco has its headquarters in London and has a current headcount of 18, which Powell expects to reach around 35 by year-end.

The new funding was co-led by the Mayfield Fund and Accel Partners. Robin Vasan, Mayfield managing director, will join the Alfresco board of directors. Alfresco had previously raised $2 million in its Series A funding with Accel.

Alfresco is just one of a wide variety of open source start-ups that are being funded by venture capital money. The company to net the largest single investment to date is CRM vendor SugarCRM, which received nearly $18.8 million in Series C funding in October.