Yammer closes $85M round, new desktop apps planned

Business-focused social network Yammer has closed a new $85 million round of funding, the company announced today.

The news confirms earlier reports that Yammer was seeking to raise $50 million and had interest from investors for up to $100 million.

Yammer provides companies with their own private social network that employees use to quickly communicate and update their activity throughout the day. (Disclosure: VentureBeat writers use Yammer to communicate on the job.)

A company’s Yammer network is closed off from public view and is only accessible to people who have a company email address. More than 200,000 businesses are now using Yammer’s social service, including 7-Eleven, Red Robin, Ford, General Electric, Shell, and Penn State University. The service has more than four million corporate users, including employees at more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500, according to Yammer.

“The new funding will let us do anything a public company would do,” Yammer founder and CEO David Sacks told VentureBeat in an interview. The company will use the new capital to launch its first ever global marketing campaign, which includes full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal and various online advertising efforts in both the U.S. and Europe, Sacks said.

“The theme of the ad campaign is going to highlight ESN (Enterprise Social Networking) as a valuable new category of enterprise.”

While the Yammer service boasts an impressive 99 percent uptime, the same cannot be said for some of its official applications, most notably its Adobe Air desktop client. With the additional funding, Sacks said the company is planning to launch native desktop clients for both OS X and Windows in the future. The new funding will also allow Yammer to continue hiring top-level talent.

The new funding round — Yammer’s fifth and largest to date — was led by DFJ Growth with participation by new investors Meritech Capital Partners, Capricorn Investment Group LLC, and Khosla Ventures. Also participating in the round were prior investors Charles River Ventures, Emergence Capital, Founders Fund, Social+Capital Partnership, and U.S. Venture Partners, as well as Bill Lee, Max Levchin, and NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. As part of the funding agreement, DFJ Growth Managing Director Randy Glein will have an observer’s seat on Yammer’s board of directors.

Founded in September 2008, the San Francisco-based startup has raised a total of $142 million in funding to date. Yammer declined to comment on its estimated valuation.

Image courtesy of Andrey Burmakin, Shutterstock


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