August 19th, 2013

Big day for Jama Software: News of $13 million investment draws attention to formerly quiet company


Big day for Jama Software: News of $13 million investment draws attention to formerly quiet company

When folks are rattling off the names of Portland startups, Jama Software was a name that was often left off the list. While successful, foregoing institutional funding tended to leave them out of the spotlight they so richly deserved. Well, that changed today. As Jama announced $13 million in funding from Trinity Ventures and Madrona.

Jama had taken on funding from Oregon Angel Fund early in its existence. But this round was a marked change from their status quo. Driven by demand.

“The demand we see for faster and cheaper ways to deliver products to market speaks to the growing complexity of today’s software applications, smart products and IT systems. With the requirements, decisions and other details ranging in the thousands to millions within these projects, the business value we’re able to provide our customers is accelerating rapidly,” says Eric Winquist, CEO of Jama Software. “We are excited to work with Trinity and Madrona to amplify our focus on expanding our SaaS-based approach across the globe.”

Here’s what others had to say about today’s announcement:

TechCrunch: Jama Software Raises $13 Million To Bring Its SaaS-Based Product Delivery Platform To Enterprises

The company hadn’t raised any institutional money in the six years that it’s been in business, but decided to change that as the market has matured and more companies are beginning to take advantage of its platform. While it already has 600 customers, including dozens in the Fortune 100, it sees a huge opportunity to better serve its growing list of clients and to sign up even more.

With that in mind, it brought on $13 million in funding led by Trinity Ventures, with participation from Madrona Venture Group. Along with the funding, Trinity General Partner Karan Mehandru joined the company’s board of directors.

GeekWire: After adding more than 600 customers, Portland’s Jama lands $13M in first VC round

Jama’s software-as-a-service tools are designed to make it easier for distributed teams to deliver projects on time, offering a collaborative environment in which employees can easily exchange information and ideas. Customers include Kaplan, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, Comcast and others. But there are also some big-time players looming in the business collaboration arena, from Microsoft (which acquired Yammer for $1.2 billion last year) to Jive Software (which also has a large presence in Portland). Direct rivals to Jama include IBM and HP, which have competing products.

“We have seen a clear shift in the enterprise to value SaaS-based solutions that many groups can use to collaborate to create greater value for the company – in HR, IT, and Finance,” said Madrona’s Tim Porter. “We see product management and delivery as a key function that many companies and internal groups are struggling to manage with spreadsheets, email and messaging. Jama understands that process and has created a standout solution.”

The Oregonian: Jama Software raises $13 million in first venture round

And Jama has just closed its first round of venture capital, raising $13 million to fund its transition from a small business into a big one. That’s a big round by Oregon standards, and reflects the ongoing renaissance in Portland technology that has helped boost statewide tech employment to a seven-year high last month.

“The market is really ripening in Portland. The level of developer talent we’re seeing is approximating San Francisco, if not exceeding it,” said Karan Mehandru, General Partner, Trinity Ventures, the Silicon Valley firm that lead Jama’s round.

Portland Business Journal: Jama’s first major VC round is a doozy: $13M

“We’ve decided that now is the right time to bring on some additional growth capital,” CEO Eric Winquist said in an interview last week. “We’ll really grow and build Jama into a big company here in Oregon.”

Jama was self-funded at the start and attracted $1 million in an angel round largely sourced locally from the Oregon Angel Fund and the Bend Venture Conference. Jama never tapped into it.

For more on the news, visit Jama Software.

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