Kara Swisher

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Seesmic Raises $4 Million in Funding From Salesforce.com

In an interesting social enterprise move, popular social networking collaboration tool Seesmic is taking a $4 million investment from Salesforce.com, as well as from Softbank.

The San Francisco-based Seesmic has one of the top desktop and also mobile applications for monitoring a consumer’s various feeds from Twitter, Facebook and more.

So far, Seesmic has received $16 million in total funding. Other investors include Atomico, Omidyar Network and Wellington Partners.

Moving beyond a consumer app, where it has one million registered users, Seesmic has also worked closely with Salesforce.com on integrating its Chatter social enterprise network offering.

Deeper integration with Chatter and bridging more social communications with its customers is coming, said Seemsic founder and CEO Loïc Le Meur.

“It becomes an amazing internal dashboard if you are a manager,” said Le Meur in an interview with BoomTown this morning. “It has everything we have built for consumers, but internally.”

There are many such apps and software-based services being developed to inject social into the enterprise, including Yammer, Socialcast and Jive.

It will also be interesting to see if the investment is a prelude to an acquisition by Salesforce.com, to further bolster its own efforts in socializing the workplace.

Here is the official press release:

Seesmic Receives $4 Million Investment

SAN FRANCISCO–Feb 1, 2011–Seesmic, the leading maker of applications that monitor social networks across mobile devices, today announced a $4 million investment from salesforce.com, inc. and a Softbank Group company managed by Softbank Holdings Inc.

Seesmic helps companies monitor, engage and build their brands across social networks and mobile devices. The Seesmic Desktop provides a single console that lets companies view and respond, in real time, to comments being made about their brands in Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. Seesmic Desktop works with Apple’s iPhone and Macintosh computers, smartphones running Google’s Android or [Microsoft] Windows Phone 7 mobile operating systems, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry and on personal computers.

Salesforce.com, the enterprise cloud computing (http://www.salesforce.com/cloudcomputing/) company, and Softbank group join previous investors Atomico, Omidyar Network and Wellington Partners. Seesmic has received a total of $16 million, including the most-recent investment round.

Seesmic and Salesforce.com have worked closely for more than six months to create a seamless integration between Seesmic Desktop and Salesforce Chatter, the industry’s first enterprise social collaboration app and platform. Leveraging the social features popularized by Facebook and Twitter–such as profiles, status updates and real-time feeds–Chatter lets employees “follow” documents, people, business processes and application data. The result is a new level of productivity that crosses departments and organizational barriers. By integrating with Chatter, Seesmic Desktop will enable salesforce.com users to immediately see comments that customers have posted on Facebook and Twitter.

“Salesforce.com has become a valued partner as we work together to bridge external and enterprise social communication with Chatter. These investments will enable us to reach more enterprise customers” said Loïc Le Meur, CEO, Seesmic.


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— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus