ClearSlide, a collaboration platform, gets $28M in new funds

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ClearSlide, a San Francisco-based developer of  a slick communications platform for sales people, received $28 million in new funds to help expand its operations and open up a New York sales office,  said co-founders Al Lieb and Jim Benton. This Series B funding round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners who were joined by existing backers Greylock Partners and Felicis Ventures.

Bessemer’s Byron Deeter and  John M. Jack, former CEO of Fortify Software, are joining the board of the company. ClearSlide had raised $11 million in Series A funding last September. With new money under its belt, the company wants to double its team of 110 people.

ClearSlide co-founder Al Lieb.

ClearSlide is one of the growing number of collaboration upstarts that are taking on Cisco-owned WebEx. The growing popularity of iPad inside corporations is opening up opportunities for founders to rethink WebEx and take a new approach to collaboration-oriented communications.

ClearSlide, with customers including CareerBuilder, Expedia, Gannett and The Weather Channel has developed technology that allows sales people to easily share documents via a single URL and use the same URL to  initiate phone or chat sessions. The company offers that technology as a web service akin to Salesforce.

Lieb who previously co-founded Evite in 1998, believes there is a real need for really easy to use tools for sales people who now use a mix of WebEx or GoToMeeting type web conferences, email and USB sticks to make their sales pitches. With ClearSlide, “you pop the link into an email, it opens immediately for the recipient– you don’t need Flash or any downloads — and it’ll work on your iPad and iPhone,” Lieb said.

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