Alfresco Software is the latest player hoping to kill high-priced software for large companies.

It’s one of a number of vendors of “content management” software. But it’s open source, and dirt cheap relative to others in the so-called enterprise content management (ECM) sector: Filenet (IBM), Interwoven, Documentum, Vignette, and Microsoft’s Sharepoint. Many of these emerged from the last Web boom, but they’re looking less dynamic these days.

alfreco.jpgAlfresco lets companies manage their documents online, and also lets them do everything from store those documents securely to keep them out of the wrong hands if they are sensitive.

The London, UK company has raised $9 million in a third round of financing led by SAP Ventures, bringing total funding to $19 million. Existing investors Accel Partners and Mayfield Fund also joined the round

Alfresco was built from scratch with Web 2.0 capabilities, including more seamless collaborative features. Employees at many large companies have started communicating through Facebook, for example, so Alfresco moved to make sure its application was built into Facebook’s platform (see screenshots, below). It has also built an application for iGoogle.

“Demand is going through the roof,” said John Powell, founder and CEO. He said the company is headed toward profitability, now that it has signed up hundreds of customers including five of the top ten investment banks, Electronic Arts, KLM and H&R Block. The company is about to hit an annual run rate of $10 million in revenue, Powell said. He adding he thinks the company will “be able to go public in 2009.”


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