Welcome to Vegas

The Las Vegas tech scene is more than just ecommerce, new media, and consumer Web companies. The blossoming ecosystem has at least one enterprise software startup as well. Today, 500 Startups Spring 2012 alumni Teamly announced that it has raised $250,000 from Vegas Tech Fund and 500 Startups, and will be relocating to the re-emerging Downtown Las Vegas area. The round brings the company’s total financing to $450,000 with 500 Startups, Ayaz ul Hague, Eliot Loh, the founders, and other angels investing.

“We’re excited to be here in Las Vegas, in a very supportive and growing tech community which in many ways is an accelerator in itself,” Teamly co-founder and CEO Scott Allison says. “Already we’re seeing the benefits of being part of such a tight knit community.”

Teamly is a next-generation team management and productivity software that integrates within enterprise social networks. The company aims to disrupt legacy HR software which lacks social integration, and as a result goes largely unused on a day-to-day basis. The new product incorporates performance reviews and evaluations, employee recognition, goal setting, and corresponding task management directly into a company’s day to day communication flow. The aim is that those companies who use Teamly will see increased employee engagement and retention.

“We’ll not just help you plan and review, but actually implement and get stuff done,” Allison says. “We believe there’s an opportunity to create a new kind of team management software inside of enterprise social networks. These networks are rapidly becoming the preferred hub for intra­-company communication, and are seeing growth of around 100 percent year­-on-­year.”

There are a few advantages to locating an enterprise startup in Las Vegas and a few distinct disadvantages – which Teamly feels it’s well-positioned to overcome. On the positive side, Vegas is known for its customer service talent, a resource that Teamly will surely tap into as it grows. The company also gets the unique experience of participating in Tony Hsieh’s wild realworld game of Sim City, the Downtown Project.

On the negative, enterprises are few and far between in the Nevada desert, making it difficult to engage face to face with current and potential customers. But Teamly has a secret weapon that it hopes will negate this issue, at least from a sales and business development perspective.

The product was selected by TIBCO as a launch partner for their new tibbr app marketplace, giving the company immediate access to the enterprise social network’s over 1 million users worldwide in 100 countries, including many KPMG, Macy’s, Apache, and many other Fortune 500 corporations.

Notably, all of tibbr’s users are paying users. This coincides nicely with Teamly, which is a paid product available as a limited free trial. One key advantage tibbr holds over competitors Yammer and Chatter is that its customers can choose a hosted (cloud) or on premise deployment., making it a better fit for many organizations.

Teamly originally built a standalone team management product for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB), until being approached by TIBCO. The company then took its learnings in the SMB market and rebuilt its product from the ground up specifically for the enterprise and with integration in mind.

“It’s not integration as an afterthought, but built to maximize the potential of the ‘host’ network,” Allison says.

Teamly was co-founded by Allison and CTO Edward Robertshaw, both of whom are are startup veterans. The pair have yet to hire additional employees, although the new funding will finally make that possible. The startup is hoping to follow its tibbr integration with similar add-ons for Yammer, Chatter, and any other team productivity product with which it can strike partnerships.

There remain a number of significant challenges for the small, underfunded team in the Las vegas Desert. As much as the TIBCO relationship is an enormous head start, sales and distribution are the real challenge of any enterprise software business. Neither of the co-founders specializes in running enterprise sales organizations, so hiring the proper talent to do so will be a must. Also, the company is not alone in the cloud team management space. Well-heeled competitors include Salesforce’s Work.com (via its Rypple acquisition), SAP’s SuccessFactors, and WorkSimple, among others.

The addition of Teamly to the Las Vegas tech scene is a welcome one for all involved. Whether it turns out to be a good move for the company remains to be seen.