(Corrects last name of CEO to Roberts from Bolton throughout)
By Jim Finkle
BOSTON Aug 24 SugarCRM Inc., a start-up using
open-source software to challenge customer management industry
leader Salesforce.com, expects revenue to more than double this
year to about $15 million, the company's chief executive said
CEO John Roberts also said that his company was cash-flow
positive in its most recent quarter. He declined to provide
further financial data.
SugarCRM was set up three years ago in Cupertino,
California, to target the same business area as Salesforce.com
Inc. (CRM.N), whose programs help corporations track sales
leads and run marketing activities.
Wall Street analysts on average expect Salesforce to post
revenue of $734 million in the current fiscal year.
The company distributes its products over the Internet,
hosting software on behalf of its clients.
SugarCRM uses that method and also sells software that
companies can run on their own computers.
But in contrast to bigger rivals, which include software
giants Oracle Corp. ORCL.O and SAP AG SAGP.DE, SugarCRM is
an open-source company that gives much of its software away for
free and in return reaps improvements from clients and allies.
Open source companies - including Linux software developers
Red Hat Inc. (RHT.N) and Novell Inc. NOVL.O - generally
publish two types of software.
One can be downloaded off the Internet and used at no
charge, but doesn't include any support from the product's
developer. The other include such services, and companies
charge for it.
Red Hat and Novell have created widely used versions of
Linux, and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM.N) is one
of the biggest resellers of both.
But it is unclear whether open source software for managing
sales and marketing will become as widely entrenched as the
Linux operating system.
Only a handful of large corporations count themselves among
SugarCRM's paid customers. Roberts said that his largest
clients include Ascent Media, Portugal Telecom and Royal Bank
The company's three main investors are venture capital
firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Walden International and New