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Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin, founders of Huddle

Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin, founders of Huddle

Cloud-based collaboration provider Huddle has raised $51m in its latest round of funding led by Zouk Capital, which the company said would be used to double down on developing analytics and mobile capabilities for its flagship offering.

The company told BCN it plans to use the funding to double the size of its product development team, based in London, from around 80 to 160, and continue its expansion in Europe and the US.

Huddle said this year has seen significant growth, with enterprise sales tripling and large-scale as well as government deployments of the cloud-based collaboration platform growing. It said 80 per cent of the UK central government.

“We’ve seen the content collaboration market come of age over the last year, with enterprises and governments now replacing legacy software at scale and embracing this new way of working,” said Alastair Mitchell, chief executive officer of Huddle.

“There has also been an increasing trend away from simple cloud storage. It has become a low-value commodity and simply replicates the age-old problem of content getting lost and siloed on shared drives with a new one – content now just gets forgotten about in the cloud.”

“Instead, business managers have realized that secure collaboration workspaces that enable teams within and across the firewall to work together on content is where the real value now lies. Effective collaboration results in greater productivity, supports decision-making, ensures teams meet milestones and ultimately drives business growth,” he added.

Mitchell’s views seem to echo a growing consensus in the enterprise cloud storage space. Earlier this year Aaron Levie, chief executive officer of Box, a Huddle competitor, told BCN that the cloud storage market has evolved dramatically over the last few years – with emphasis in the market shifting away from commodity, siloed cloud storage towards integrated storage solutions that can support industry-specific business process and collaboration (Box has shifted its strategy accordingly with Box for Industries).

“The value of cloud content collaboration solutions is increasingly being realised by organizations, particularly because they are easy to provision and enable streamlined access for mobile users,” said Vanessa Thompson, research director, enterprise social networks and collaborative technologies at IDC. “Forming a workspace environment for users that brings together content collaboration capabilities, as well as context from other systems, means that users only need to be in one place to get work done. This becomes increasingly critical as users are being asked to do more with less time.”

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