Featured Startup: Double Dutch

Double Dutch is a new startup that develops mobile productivity software targeted towards business customers. They currently have 2 products released on the market; the CRM engagement app called Hive, and Flock, which is a white label platform that automates the creation of a social, branded app.

Double Dutch was founded last March 2010, and is currently profitable, with expected revenues of $5 million. The company is currently serving an impressive list of big name customers that include HP, Cisco, TED, and even Adobe. Other clients include Rightnow, CD, IDG, and Roche.

When it comes to funding, Double Dutch has reportedly raised $2 million in Series A funding, in a round led by Bullpen Capital and includes the Floodgate Fund, rounded up by Youtube co-founder Jawed Karim and Mint.com founder Aaron Patzer. The $2 million funding raised is added to the $1.2 million that the company was able to raise a year ago, in a funding round that was led by Lightbank.

Double Dutch’s Flagship Product: Hive

Double Dutch’s Hive is basically an “engagement layer” that can sit on top of Salesforce.com, providing users with a more straightforward yet powerful way to interact with the data provided by the Salesforce system.

According to Double Dutch, the idea behind Hive is not to replace or compete with CRM software provided by Salesforce.com, Oracle, and SugarCRM, as the offerings they have are already very powerful and can deliver. What Hive does is complement said CRM software, and provide something that the users usually don’t get by default: a more intuitive way of interacting with the CRM applications.

Hive can actually work as a standalone CRM system if the company is very small, with less than 10 salespeople. But companies who need broader administrative tools should instead go for more robust offerings like Salesforce.com, and just use Hive as a way to simplify the controls and improve usability.

That’s not to say that Hive is just a frontend. There are things that it brings to the table. For instance, it greatly improves the analytic abilities of any CRM software, as it adds a way for sales managers to see a visual representation of their sales force’s behavior.

Another benefit of using Hive is that it works as an intermediary between Salesforce.com and DoubleDutch’s private cloud servers, which takes automated snapshots on a regular basis. This means users of Hive will still have a certain amount of data to work with, instead of having nothing to work with if Salesforce.com’s services should go down due to an outage. The work they do on Hive while offline will still get synced to Salesforce.com’s servers once the service is restored.

Hive is currently available for free to 3 users or less, while the midtier version goes for $20 per user per month. The enterprise edition costs $40 per user per month. Double Dutch is also planning a version of Hive for Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM.

Company’s Future

When it comes to their product, Double Dutch has to watch out for Salesforce.com’s own efforts to venture into mobile apps, especially since it includes both native and HTML5 offerings with an improved Touch interface. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Double Dutch will have to compete, as it’s highly unlikely that they will depend on a single product for revenue, they still have Flock, and it’s not surprising if they come out with more products down the line.

At the moment, Double Dutch is hiring in San Francisco and are gunning for the chance to double their staff number to 25 by the end of the year. They have also announced plans to develop more apps.

One comment

  1. Way to go, Double Dutch! I think they have something here… they’ve realized what the big CRM companies still can’t wrap their heads around: usability. Hive is built to be simple and get the job done. While not as feature rich, it doesn’t have to be: 43% of CRM users don’t even use HALF of their CRM’s features.

    We built our CRM to be simple and effective, much like the direction Double Dutch has taken. While Hive or JobNimbus can’t compete in features and penetration, they can own in simplicity, usability, and integration, making them perhaps more effective.

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