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Installing software-as-a-service enterprise apps may never get as simple as installing an app on your personal smartphone, but it’s getting closer.

$35 million closer, in fact.

AppDirect, a cloud service marketplace that aggregates hundreds of SaaS apps into a single platform that can be sold by independent consultants around the globe, announced this morning that it has raised $35 million led by Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital.

“There’s tens of thousands of VARs and IT consultants around the world today that can’t sell SaaS. … They don’t have the mechanisms to provision and secure it,” AppDirect CEO Daniel Saks told me yesterday at the Cloud Factory conference in Banff. “We’re partnering with those people to enable them to continue to leverage their business relationships.”

Rackspace's app store, powered by AppDirect

Above: Rackspace’s app store, powered by AppDirect

Image Credit: John Koetsier

The company provides both a marketplace and a management platform. SaaS providers such as Box and Google and New Relic integrate once to AppDirect, which enables single sign-on, user management, and centralized billing. Then they’re available in private white-label app stores that companies like Rackspace, Samsung, Staples, Comcast — or your local IT consultant — can offer to their business clients.

The app stores don’t contain everything you might want from every vendor, but they do offer a growing selection of business apps for communication, collaboration, development, management, sales, and marketing. And they do offer a way for IT companies to continue to serve their clients in the cloud, similarly to the way they did back in the on-premises client-server era.

The $35 million investment “cements AppDirect’s leadership” in cloud services brokerage, the company said, and will enable “aggressive” growth.

The company is already fairly large. Via its white labeling partners, AppDirect says it connects “more than 20 million users” in 150 countries around the globe. While AppDirect won’t disclose revenue, it says app sales are growing at a healthy 25 percent per month.

Adding an app to AppDirect is not quite the same as adding an app to a focused platform like Salesforce, which makes your business data available across multiple applications like CRM and marketing automation, for example.

Options for that may come in the future, but right now, the focus is on easy accessibility.

“We’re seeing this huge trend to more apps per company,” Saks says. “Marketers might really love a Marketo or a HootSuite. And the legal team might love DocuSign. We’re starting to see that the barriers to adopting multiple apps are falling.”

Existing investors iNovia Capital and Foundry Group also participated in the round of funding.


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