Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

ClearSlide Lands $28 Million in Round Led by Bessemer

How many times a week do you have to look at a deck of slides being presented to you by someone else trying to convince you of something? And how much trouble do you go through to see them when you’re viewing them remotely? It can be a hassle, often involving the installation of some application before you can see what the other person wants you to see.

It’s a hassle that ClearSlide, the cloud-based presentation company, has been aiming to solve. Few things will annoy a boss or a new sales prospect more than wasting their time while you fumble around with a computer to get a deck ready.

ClearSlide’s approach uses a cloud-based service that houses presentation decks on the Web at a single personalized URL. There are no applications to install and no attachments to send. You just send the other party the URL, and they’re ready to see what you have to show them.

It’s a pretty simple play that attempts to turn the whole Web-conferencing business on its ear. But something must be working. Today, the company says it has raised a $28 million Series B round of venture capital funding, led by Bessemer Capital Partners. Greylock Partners and Felicis Ventures, investors in prior rounds, also participated. Additionally, Byron Deeter, a partner at Bessemer, and John Jack, the former CEO of Fortify Software, are joining ClearSlide’s board of directors.

ClearSlide says it will use the funding to rapidly expand its team, which has recently grown to include 100 employees at offices in San Franciso and New York; plans are afoot to double that. Its base of customers is expanding, too: CareerBuilder, Expedia, Gannett, Hoovers and Rackspace are all customers.

The service is being aimed very specifically at sales teams, and is meant to work equally well whether the presentation is being given in person, over the phone or via email.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”