When deciding the Smarta 100, our judges look for the start-ups that are challenging the monopoly of the old guard. With this in mind it seems we hit the nail on the head when we chose Huddle as a Smarta 100 winner in 2010.
A year later, the firm that was founded in South London has opened an office in the tech Mecca of Silicon Valley and has already caused a stir among its established neighbours.
Earlier this year Huddle co-founders Ali Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin forced Google to change the name of a feature on their Google+ release after the search engine giant named it 'Huddles'. McLoughlin defiantly explains, "We let them know that we held the [Huddle] global trademark across all countries, so it was pretty clear that they had to consider renaming." According to the Huddle co-founder, the search engine giant admitted defeat saying, "We think we should find a better name for this product."
But not content with just getting one over on Google, Huddle has now set their sights on another billion dollar scalp: Microsoft.
Huddle's business collaboration platform is in direct competition with Microsoft's SharePoint. So, with Microsoft meeting to discuss strategy at the SharePoint conference, Huddle decided to steal the publicity and descended upon the convention with a huge marching band flanked by cheerleaders.
After attracting a large crowd outside the entrance of the building, police stopped the band and forced them to move, saying the conference centre was private property. Huddle's website released a statement declaring this song and dance all part of their mission.
"We want to disrupt the collaboration and content management space and go head-to-head with dated, expensive and disliked systems."
All this appears to be working for the underdogs. Huddle, which boasts clients including Disney, HTC, Kia Motors and the UK government, has announced that sales have tripled in the first quarter of 2011.
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