Bolste launches collaboration platform with $5M round

Ronny Kerr · January 13, 2016 · Short URL:

Provider of "business operating system" launches after beta test with Accenture and Harley Davidson

Bolste, provider of a business collaboration platform, announced today that it is launching its business operating system (BOS) one month after closing a $5 million Series A round.

The round, which closed in December, included backing from Jim Kellner (former president of insurance software provider Applied Systems) and Jim Bullock (CEO of surgical solutions provider Zyga Technology). Advisors to the company include Stanley Laybourne (former CFO at Insight Enterprises) and David Friend (co-founder of cloud backup solution Carbonite).

A BOS, for the uninitiated, is a general term typically used to denote processes or systems of business management sometimes (but not always) connected to a technology platform

Bolste is using the term as a new category for its communications and collaboration platform for businesses. Key features of the platform include workspaces, brand customization, gamification tools to encourage employee engagement, an activity feed of user actions, encryption for security, live document editing and change tracking, app usage statistics for administrators, and a global search tool.

The company says today’s launch follows a “strong beta testing period” with 18,000 users, including teams from Accenture, Harley Davidson and the Arizona Small Business Association.

That’s a diverse set of companies, so we reached out to the company to see if they have a specific plan for targeting certain customers. They told us that their “sweet spot” is a team sized between 25 and 250 people. Their beta users included corporations, universities, small businesses, and government organizations.

Today, you can try out a free trial version of Bolste’s software, but you’ll have to upgrade to Bolste Pro for $9.99/month to continue using it. Bolste Pro comes with unlimited project channels, unlimited guest users, 7 GB of storage, and a graphical interface that can be white-labeled with the user’s branding. The enterprise version of the software, which comes with unlimited storage, third-party integrations, and on-boarding and training, is priced on a case-by-case basis.

Already, Bolste is trying to portray itself as a challenger to unicorn favorite Slack Technologies, a San Francisco company now valued at $2.8 billion with backing from Google Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, and Index Ventures. In a statement, Leif Hartwig, founder and CEO of Bolste, said:

“The few apps that have tried to combine all these into one interface are painfully complicated to install, configure, and learn. In addition, they are very expensive. Users are becoming more discerning and expect productivity and collaboration software to deliver performance right out of the gate.

Bolste is available both on the Web and in iOS and Android apps.

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