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Bitrix24 emerged one of the most prominent providers in the region of a social-enterprise service just a year after a year after being being established. Described as a combination of Yammer (social enterprise), BaseCamp (project management), Dropbox (file-sharing and online document managment), and Zoho (CRM), this service has demonstrated strong potential for growth in recent months. I spoke with CMO Dmitry Davydov and he told me that, although the service remains in beta a year after being created, that they’ve had more than 50,000 sign-ups so thus far and counts Xerox, Samsung, Volkswagen, KIA, Gazprom, Vogue and PC Magazine as its clients.
Although we primarily write about startups, Bitrix24 emerged from the well-established company and, as a result, had quite a leg up at its founding. Bitrix, which was founded in 1998 by a few of the founders of Bitrix24 (Dmitry Valyanov, Sergey Rizhikov, and Vadim Dumbravanu), has already been established as a successful software company from the CEE region, counting more than 60,000 businesses as customers. As a result, it’s not really surprising that Bitrix24 is a self-funded project, which launched its beta version just a year ago. Unlike many startups, which struggle when they can’t find investment, Davydov tells me that they are able to fund Bitrix24 for now with revenue from their other services, like BitrixCMS and BitrixIntranet. Perhaps of note to startups is that Bitrix24 is offered for free to companies of 12 or fewer employees.
As for the future of the service, Davydov says that they’re planning to add invoicing to CRM capability, WebRTS-based video chat, mobile CRM, and document editing functions as part of their next release, which will be slated for this May or June.
The company currently maintains offices in Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kalingrad, and Almaty, so they already have a presence in several former Soviet republics. According to Davydov, Bitrix24 counts services like Yammer, Jive, and Podio as possibly their primary competitors in the market for social-intranet services.
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