NASA's British cloudy collab provider scores $51m from VCs

Huddle also looks after UK National Grid

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Cloudy storage and collaboration service provider Huddle has trousered millions more cash from vulture venture capitalists to spend on biz development on both sides of the Atlantic.

The UK-based outfit, started by CEO Alastair Mitchell in 2007, last night took home a $51m Series D round of funding, valuing the business at roughly $250-$300m.

The company employs 170 "Huddlers" across offices in London, San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC. Customers include 80 per cent of UK central government departments, NASA, National Grid, Grant Thornton and the government of Greenland.

Mitchell said the investment was a “huge validation” of its standing in the collaboration market.

“We’ve seen the content collaboration market come of age over the last year, with sales to enterprises tripling in the first quarter of 2014 over the same period last year," he said.

Huddle’s platform lets workers securely share documents and data across departments from the confines of its cloud environment, accessed via desktop, web or mobile devices.

The funding will be used to “significantly grow” the product team to keep churning out services. The firm will also build a small but perfectly formed channel army, having been largely a direct seller.

In the last set of financial files at Companies House, Huddle turned over £4.8m in the year to April 2013, up 65 per cent on the prior year, but reported widening operating losses, from £3.6m to £8.4m.

The total private equity funding given to Huddle is now $83m.

Analyst Megabuyte said Huddle could become a take-over target given its current size, but warned the company could get squeezed by the continued adoption of Office 365.

An incursion into enterprise collaboration from the likes of Box and Dropbox, who are themselves feeling the pinch of contact price hacking from Google, AWS and Microsoft, could also hurt, it added. ®

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