The fact that Venture Capital firms are opening their wallets again is a good sign of potential economic recovery, and the latest startup benefactor is SocialCast. SocialCast offers “enterprise collaboration” tools similar to Yammer and others, which are a combination of features of Twitter and the Facebook Wall, plus infrastructure for groups and following team conversations.
SocialCast raised US$8M in Series B funding from two firms: Menlo Ventures and True Ventures, to add to the nearly $1.5M they raised in 2009 from True Ventures. Menlo Ventures portfolio includes Hotmail (now part of Microsft/ MSN), IMVU, FrontPage (now part of Microsoft), Infoseek, Jobfox, Roku, MobiTV and many more. True Ventures portfolio includes Meebo, GigaOm, KISSMetrics, appssavvy, PastFuture, 1000 Markets, Kwedit, MindBites, and more. GigaOm’s Om Malik is a VC partner with True Ventures and has a seat on SocialCast’s board.
SocialCast‘s features include Activity Streams, Enterprise Microblogging (microblogging for teams — see snapshot below), groups and custom streams, analytics, and other corporate collaboration infrastructure. Software runs on Web browser, desktop, and mobile devices. SocialCast uses a freemium model, with pricing plans that include Basic (free), Premium Hosted, and Enterprise.
SocialTimes and AllFacebook’s writing team uses Yammer, which has similarities to SocialCast, and while this system of collaboration takes a bit of getting used to, it can be a boon for companies, especially those with remote teams. The fact that there are more than a few players in the “enterprise collaboration” space likely bodes well for driving improved interfaces and features. The additional funds are also driving demand to fill jobs, including positions at SocialCast.