Appirio, an online software startup whose most popular offerings sync data between Salesforce.com and Google products, has raised a $5.6 million second round of funding led by Sequoia Capital.
The startup has close ties to Salesforce.com — the customer relationship management (CRM) company led Appirio’s $1.1 million first round, Appirio’s most popular products are sold on the Salesforce.com AppExchange and its offices are located at the AppExchange incubator in San Mateo. The partnership has already paid off for Appirio — the company’s app for synchronizing calendars between Salesforce.com and Google Apps is currently the most popular AppExchange download, and two of Appirio’s other Google-Salesforce integrations are also in the top 10.
Of course, it’s a good time to be offering these products, given the Google-Salesforce partnerships announced this year — first the integration of Google Apps into Salesforce.com, then the release of applied programming interfaces (APIs) that allow Force.com developers to access data in Google Apps.
But chief executive Chris Barbin says Appirio isn’t just an AppExchange company. His long-term goal is to make business software that connects a range of internet “clouds.” Appirio will be increasing its presence in the Google Solutions Marketplace, and it will also explore partnerships with companies like Adobe and Workday.
Only a few months have passed since Appirio announced its first round, so it seems a bit early to raise more funding. Barbin says the Sequoia deal fell into place very quickly, taking only three weeks to finalize. In fact, Barbin says Appirio hadn’t even used any of its first round money yet, but the deal with Sequoia was too good to resist. The venture firm was the first to really understand Appirio’s business model — other VCs had wanted the startup to focus exclusively on product development or services, but as a software-as-a-service company, Appirio does both. (It probably didn’t hurt that Sequoia is one of the biggest names in the venture world.)
Stanford University and angel investors also participated in the round.
Update: Barbin has just posted his thoughts on what the funding means for Appirio.
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