Yammer Raises $17 Million as Former VP Facebook Palihapitiya Joins the Board

By Kenna McHugh 

One of the leading providers of enterprise social networks received $17 million in its fourth round of funding. That brings the total financing of Yammer to $57 million. The Social+Capital Partnership, a new fund established by former Facebook Vice President Chamath Palihapitiya, led the round with previous investors Charles River Ventures, Emergence Capital and U.S. Palihapitiya will have an observer’s seat on Yammer’s board of directors.

“Social networking is destined to have as significant an impact on the enterprise as it has already had in our personal lives,” said Palihapitiya, founder and managing partner of The Social+Capital Partnership. “Yammer is the clear leader in enterprise social networking and is redefining collaboration, sharing and productivity in a way that will disrupt an entire class of existing enterprise applications.”

Palihapitiya may be right about social media becoming more enterprising. Yammer has grown at a rapid pace. It has been adopted by over 100,000 businesses in 160 countries in less than three years, including employees at more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500. Major corporations such as 7-11, Ford, Southern Company, Shell and SuperValu have set up Yammer this year.

According to David Sacks, Yammer founder and CEO, the company really wanted to get Palihapitiya on board and raising the funds was part of that process. “Chamath is one of the most insightful people in tech and his experience at Facebook will prove invaluable to us as we scale Yammer in the years to come.”

Yammer is expanding rapidly internationally to meet global demand for its product, and the additional funding will be used to scale operations across its offices in San Francisco, London and Melbourne. The company is actively hiring employees in sales, engineering and customer support.

Palihapitiya is not the only Facebook principal involved in Yammer. He joins Sean Parker, Facebook’s founding president, who is on Yammer’s Board of Directors, and Peter Thiel, who was the first investor in both Facebook and Yammer.

“Social is in our DNA,” said Sacks. ”It’s the core of what we do, not an add-on to what we do. And that’s reflected by who’s involved in our company, who we choose to surround ourselves with and whose advice and ideas we actively seek.”