Igloo warms up with new features, plans new financing in 2013

By Nathaniel Mott , written on November 29, 2012

From The News Desk

I promised myself I wouldn't start this post with a joke about Canadians and igloos, and damn it, I'm going to stick to my word. There are no "Great White North," "hard-packed snow," or maple syrup cracks to be found in this paragraph – instead, there's just a little bit about Igloo, an intranet-builder which has released new features guaranteed to melt any corporate workers' heart. (Damn it.)

Perhaps the easiest way to think of Igloo is as a beefed-up Yammer or a streamlined SharePoint. The service, built by the Toronto-based company of the same name, allows workers to share "microblogs," documents, calendars, and other kinds of corporate minutia.

This next iteration, "Q," introduces deeper email integration (which sounds like a nightmare to most but may appeal to workers who live in their inboxes anyway), an overhauled calendar sporting Outlook and Google Calendar integration, and a beefed-up search tool that makes it easier to search by a file's directory, its type, and its "labels." This release is less about adding a ton of new features and more about proving that Igloo is committed to building a product that, unlike a certain film series, continues to get better with age.

Igloo CEO Dan Latendre emphasized the service's customizability and ease-of-use during our talk, saying that he feels it's important for business owners to be able to manage their own software without having to deal with the IT department or product updates. "We're not shipping [our customers] a disk and wishing them good luck," he says.

Igloo plans on introducing task and project management tools in Q1 2013, bringing increased productivity out from the tundra that lies beyond each corporate firewall and back into the nice, warm Igloo. Latendre claims that the company updates its product every 90 days in an effort to manage customer feedback and build loyalty.

This commitment seems to be serving Igloo well. The company has raised $9 million across two rounds of financing from the likes of RIM, RBC Venture Partners, and the Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund, and Latendre says that the company is planning to raise another round in 2013. Igloo has grown 85 percent year-over-year for three years in a row, he says, and the new round of funding would allow the company to continue its expansion.