In preparation for what looks like an IPO, Jive Software announced yesterday it had raised $30 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. It's a funding story of relative significance that documents one company's rise to prominence and a venture capital firm's growing commitment to the social enterprise and cloud computing space.
The Jive investment is the second major funding that we have seen in the past several days. Last week, Atlassian raised $60 million from Accel Partners.
That adds up to nearly $100 million in funding for the social enterprise space in just the past week.
The news also marks Kleiner Perkins' second significant investment of recent note. Earlier this week, it invested $5 million in Puppet Labs, a company with a configuration framework for data center automation of management tasks.
For Puppet, its name as a metaphor works - it utilizes a puppet master to manage the configuration of thousands of nodes. Puppet works on a secure infrastructure with a dashboard environment and provides modules that organize the puppetmaster's configurations. Its technology manages the data centers that enterprise technology companies use to provide services.
Puppet illustrates a larger connection that's happening. The social enterprise and cloud computing markets share a common ecosystem. Kleiner Perkins recognized the potential of these markets and is making the investments to prove it.
The Atlassian investment also show that venture capital firms are confident in a new class of providers. Atlassian makes tools for product development. Cloud computing companies, software providers and Web-based services all build tools. Hammers, anyone? Atlassian is not a purely social technology company but it does have elements that puts them in a category that investors find attractive.
Jive's moves over the past several months have signaled its intentions. It hired Tony Zingale to run the company. Zingale has considerable experience in leading technology companies. He recently served as president and CEO of Mercury Interactive, a business technology optimization company. In 2006, Hewlett Packard purchased Mercury for $5.1 billion. He is recognized as having the experience to lead the company to a public offering.
Jive is a company that has done well by focusing on the social enterprise. Its competitors include a number of companies that are potential winners, too: Mindtouch, Box.net, Socialtext, Socialcast and Yammer
But Jive is just a glimpse of what's to come. The new wave is here. Social enterprise and cloud computing companies are here to stay.