SugarCRM raises $20M more for open source CRM

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SugarCRM, an open source customer relationship management (CRM) software company, has raised $20 million more in financing, led by New Enterprise Associates, bringing its total funding to $46 million.

This is a hyper-competitive sector, and we’ve written about how SugarCRM shrewdly has teamed up with NEA, where partner Scott Sandell had a front-row seat in watching the moves of competitor Salesforce.com.

The company says it will use the funding to help expand to Europe and Asia, among other things.

Existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Walden International also joined the round. The question is, why did NEA lead the round, instead of let another investor come in to independently set the value of the company, as is customary? NEA has been aggressive in the past, and may have wanted the deal to itself. It has also shown a tendency to place high values on companies, and so it may have pushed the valuation on Sugar so high that no other investor wanted to pay the same price. We don’t know.

Since 2004, SugarCRM has seen more than 4 million downloads of its CRM products, it says, along with 470 product extensions, 75 language translations, and more than 60,000 community members. It says it has 12,000 registered developers and a customer base of nearly 3,000 commercial accounts. These are big numbers, though we haven’t confirmed how many of these users and accounts are active. The company just issued a release, so we’ll try to follow up and see how they are doing against an array of other competitors.

In December, the company announced the release of Sugar 5.0, with an Ajax email client, multiple homepages for users, on-demand architecture and a module builder feature for non-technical users.

We profiled SugarCRM back in 2005. Chief executive John Roberts is a good salesman. Question is, will this company now be able to break into the big leagues?

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