Yammer raises $17M from former Facebook VP to improve enterprise social networking

YammerEnterprise social networking site Yammer has raised $17 million in a new funding round.

Since its launch in 2008, Yammer has made incredible gains with enterprise users, with more than 3 million verified corporate users and more than 80 percent of companies on the Fortune 500 list using the network. It has attracted more than 100,000 businesses in 160 countries. The service tailors Facebook and Twitter-like communication strategies to give businesses activity feeds, private messaging, polls, Q&A and more.

The new round was led by The Social+Capital Partnership, a new VC fund established by former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya. The Social+Capital Partnership contributed $15 million, but current investors Charles River Ventures, Emergence Capital and U.S. Venture Partners also participated. Yammer last had a $25 million round last November, and its total funding now sits at $57 million.

Yammer CEO David Sacks told Dow Jones he didn’t immediately need more funding because of the major round last year, but he couldn’t resist getting Palihapitiya involved. Palihapitiya has lots of lessons learned from Facebook that he may be able to transfer over to Yammer to make it an even better social networking tool.

In the past few months, Yammer has made some big additions to its service that have attracted headlines and made the site even more competitive with Salesforce.com’s free Chatter service and Jive Software. The company unveiled embeddable activity feeds, a more powerful desktop application and an API that enables single-sign-on to third-party websites.

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