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By MIKE BUTCHER

A lot of people are going after something that’s been dubbed the social CRM – companies like the much written about Brewster for instance. But there is more than one way to skin a cat, and the CRM space is becoming very interesting to startups in the enterprise space, and increasingly, to the kinds of companies that need to mine their networks for information. Venture capitalists fall into that classic space where contacts are everything.

So in an interesting move, the London-based VC Balderton Capital has become to latest clients of enterprise relationship management startup Datahug. Other paying VC clients and corporate finance firms include UK-based Torch Partners. Datahug provides an automated relationship management which integrates into leading CRM solutions, but there’s more to it than that description might imply.

The idea is to unlock the unique connections per employee removing the need for cold calling. It’s like a Facebook on steroids for people who need to sell or make connections. You could liken it to a private search engine that allows you to discover if there are any coworkers or anyone else within your organization that can hook you up with a connection to that customer lead, potential partner or possible recruit you would like to have a conversation with. And obviously, in the case of VCs, to startups.

And there’s clearly evidence on the ground for this. Founder and CEO Connor Murphy says “We’ve found that the average VC has almost 3 times the number of connections (3000+) per user compared with most other industries we’re working with today.”

It’s interesting that VCs are using such products to mine their networks for data in this way. One wonders if it could become a competitive advantage?

Harry Briggs, Principal with Balderton Capital says: “A key part of our business is about being able to leverage connections and relationships. With Datahug we now have instant visibility to all the connections that exist across our business – and we didn’t have to do any work to input them.’

A year ago Datahug scored $1.5 million in a seed funding round led by Ireland-based Oyster Technology Investments, with Silicon Valley super angel investor Ron Conway chipping in.

A graduate of Ireland’s Endeavour incubator program, the startup has also been in the iGAP programme.

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Vijay Nachimuthu

By Vijay Nachimuthu

Vijay Nachimuthu is a Managing Principal of AltaFlux. His blogs mainly focuses on latest cloud technology trends and its impact on enterprises.