Clara was founded in 2008 by students at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. After setting up their company and working on their product the founders decided that they needed to be closer to the market so they sent CEO Gunnar Holmsteinn to San Francisco where he opened a second office.
This model, using talent in Iceland and selling in Silicone Valley has worked out for Clara and hopefully is a proof of concept for the Icelandic startup ecosystem. In a great talk at Startup Iceland conference last year, Gunnar talked about the differences between entreprise sales in Iceland and the US where he and his friends sold their product in Iceland within days but in the states it took him months to get close to a sale.
Clara creates software which helps companies analyze what their user community is saying about them on the web. Their most recent product is called Resonata and will become a part of Jive’s service portfolio.
Paolo Alto based Jive Software (JIVE) is a leader in social business. Their cloud-based platform connects employees, customers and partners and is a proven system, focused on value use cases. Their revenues in Q1 of 2013 were $33.9 million growing 34% from Q1 2013. The biggest owners of Jive include VC’s Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital.
The biggest owners of Clara were CEO Gunnar Holmsteinn (16%), Co-founder Jon Edvald (14%), Auro investment partners (34%) and NSA Ventures (18%).
Auro investment partners are led by Startup Iceland founder and Greenqloud CEO Bala Kamallakharan.
Here Gunnar Holmsteinn and Benedikt Bjarnason, co-founder of GlobalCall explain the advantages of building up a company in a small market and then leveraging into a bigger market.
Picture: Clara team with Icelandic president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. From: http://www.clarahq.com/about-us/who-is-clara