Yammer, Convo, and Jive are among the business products seeking to provide collaborative enterprises with tooling to allow their respective denizens to work in better harmony and at a faster pace. Each has its own merits and scale: Yammer’s $1.2 billion exit to Microsoft and Jive’s $900 million market capitalization place them on the heavier tip of the scale. Convo is the smaller player, but is now an actor with a larger purse thanks to a $5 million injection from MorgenThaler.
Enough to put it on fair footing with Yammer? Perhaps not financially, but the funds will go a long way to helping Convo staff as it needs. Currently employing 24 people, Convo has reincorporated, moved to San Francisco, and intends to double its active workers.
So Convo has joined the long caravan of companies that wish to change how we work, and intend to execute that endeavor from the increasingly chaotic and oddly monosyllabic Bay Area. I don’t meant to sound cynical: There is a pedigree of firms of its ilk doing well here. Yammer, for example, once had offices right above TechCrunch’s current digs in SOMA. So in its move Convo is only following in a path of prior success.
What is Convo? The firm offers what I could best call an internal, real-time, topic and comment based work environment that allows individuals to collaborate and discuss issues as quickly as they can type. Obviously, how your own team is built will determine just how ‘fast’ you wish to work, but in Convo the software likely won’t be the frictional agent (it will lose that primacy to internal abstinence of those who prefer the right lane).
Convo claims 6,000 business customers, so despite it now residing in the most banal of technological hubs (and my favorite, for what it is worth), the company also has the ability to tilt its nose at those firms that still eschew revenue and material cash flow that are common here.
We use Convo at TechCrunch. The Convo team was kind enough to provide some statistics regarding our usage of its software, which I think are milquetoast enough to share here publicly. Our little team of merry folks writes more than 7,000 posts per week on Convo, a figure which actually feels low, though I trust their metrics. Of us, our monthly active to daily active usage ratio is more than 90%, so we breathe the stuff.
I don’t mean that as any sort of endorsement, instead only point-in-fact that we use Convo. You might be a better fit for Yammer. Do your own research.
Paying customers, fresh money, and a growing staff. You almost wonder if someone is going to swoop in and buy the little outfit. Well, it won’t be Microsoft, Yammer aside. “Microsoft is where companies go to die,” according to Convo’s founder. Well then.
Top Image Credit: Wonderlane
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