People need to get shit done. Consumer software helps them get it done with style and ease — enterprise software helps them get it done in a way that their bosses can observe, measure, and act upon. That’s the main difference between to-do apps that help people manage their chores and grocery lists and social project management services that help people collaborate with co-workers and update the company on their progress with certain tasks, anyway.
Wrike belongs to the latter category. The company offers project management tools that work as standalone products and extensions to services such as Outlook, Google Apps, and Dropbox, among others, and is today announcing that it has raised $10 million from Bain Capital Ventures. But it isn’t another wannabe enterprise startup weaned on venture capital: the company was bootstrapped for much of its existence and turned a profit before it raised a cent from institutional investors.
“Thousands and thousands of teams around the world use Wrike to be more productive,” says Wrike CEO Andrew Filev. “They love the product, they rave about it, they use it daily. For us the main challenge is, how do we take it from here?” Companies like Adobe, McDonald’s, and DirecTV are already using Wrike’s service — Filev wants to convince more large companies to do the same.
The funding will be used to attract those companies, expand Wrike’s products, and form partnerships with other enterprise services. Basically: Wrike finally has the cash it needs to become the company Filev wants it to be. Bootstrapping the company simply allowed Wrike to learn how to approach project management without having a VC-provided escape plan at the ready.
“One of the things about being a bootstrapped business is that it forces you to really think about hard problems and try to solve them. You can’t just hide behind the money, you have to focus on customers and build something good enough for them,” Filev says. “We didn’t have a sales team, so we had to build products that sold themselves.” That’s unlikely to change even as Wrike starts to appeal to large companies.
In many ways, then, Wrike’s success depends as much on what it learned from bootstrapping as it does from this latest funding round. Operating without outside funding taught the company how to approach its market — taking a couple million dollars from BCV will allow it to apply those lessons faster than it otherwise would have.
[Image via Wrike]