Posted 12/21/10 on VentureBeat.com by Matthew Lynley:
SugarCRM, a developer and provider of open-source customer relationship management (CRM) software, is worth somewhere in the range of $350 – $360 million, according to a new report by research firm NeXt Up!
The open source CRM provider is expected to bring in around $107.7 million in revenue in 2013 and $95.8 million in 2012, according to the report. That’s peanuts when compared to Oracle’s latest earnings report (which indicated that the company brought in $8.6 billion in a single quarter). But for a company that was founded only six years ago and one that charges half of what most CRM providers charge for open source software, it’s pretty good.
The CRM space has exploded because it helps businesses of any size run more efficiently. It can provide a business with a number of tools that can help them handle customer service. Most come with analytics suites that help executives figure out which programs are working and which ones aren’t.
SugarCRM has an advantage with smaller and mid-sized businesses because it is usually much cheaper than other CRM providers. The service can cost around half of what some of the major CRM software providers charge. It doesn’t have the full functionality that some of them, like Salesforce, have — but it can do about 90 percent of what those services can, according to the report. Companies like Oracle and SAP likewise dominate the high end of the market that typically has a much larger budget for CRM-like software.
SugarCRM users can deploy the software on in-house servers or on the public cloud, which involves shipping data through the Internet to remote servers that have a lot of computing firepower. The company partnered up with Amazon and Microsoft to let users deploy its software on Amazon’s EC2 and Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing services. 70 percent of SugarCRM’s revenue comes from licensing deals with partners that resell the software and help manage it, according to the report.
But because it is so cheap and because the development is open source, it can be difficult and time-consuming to install the software, and the customer support can be lacking, according to the report. Around 70 percent of SugarCRM customers still choose to install the software on in-house hardware because it’s cheaper, rather than use hosted versions on public cloud servers.
The company’s valuation is still not even close to some of the dominant forces in the CRM software market, but for a provider of open source software it’s a pretty decent number. Salesforce, for example, is worth around $18 billion based on its market cap, and Oracle is worth a massive $160 billion.
Since it was founded, SugarCRM has collected around 600,000 users across 75 countries and is deployed on about 55,000 servers. The open source community that works on SugarCRM has around 150,000 active users and 22,000 developers. The community has made 800 applications that plug into the CRM suite to date.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company was founded in 2004 and has more than 150 employees. To date, SugarCRM has raised $46 million in venture capital funding from firms like New Enterprise Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Walden International. Its last round of funding came in 2008 when it raised $20 million.