Cloud Sherpas Nabs Funds for Google Apps Tools, Services

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Cloud Sherpas, a provider of services and software for Google Apps, has closed a funding round worth US$1.6 million and will use the money in part to develop vertical-market applications for the cloud-hosted collaboration and communication suite.

Cloud Sherpas, which makes a popular IT management tool for Google Apps called Sherpa Tools, plans to create new applications for the suite for companies in industries like retail, real estate and manufacturing, as well as for local government agencies.

"We're seeing a lot of traction and demand in those verticals," said Michael Cohn, Cloud Sherpas' founder and marketing vice president.

The company will also continue to enhance Sherpa Tools, which is designed for IT administrators of the Premier and Education editions of Google Apps and is now used at more than 8,000 companies with 1.5 million Google Apps users.

The latest capital, which brings Cloud Sherpas' total funding to almost $3 million, including a $1 million round in May, will also go toward boosting the company's IT services offerings.

Cloud Sherpas, a Google Apps reseller, started by providing Google Apps migration services and has now moved more than 600,000 end users to Apps.

It has added other types of services for Google Apps, including custom software development, such as creating lightweight "gadget" applications and integrating the Google suite with existing systems.

Cloud Sherpas also provides change management services, such as drafting training and internal communication plans regarding Google Apps deployments.

Companies who buy their Google Apps licenses through Cloud Sherpas also get the "premium" version of Sherpa Tools, which is also available in a standard free edition to any Google Apps Premier and Education edition customers.

The privately held company is profitable and has a staff of about 40 employees, which it plans to expand as well.

The funding round was led by Syncarpha Capital, Vento Security Holdings and Hallett Capital, which is managed by Cloud Sherpas CEO Jon Hallett.

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