Former BlackBerry execs score $7.3-million for CRM software startup

Two former BlackBerry insiders who believe they’ve invented a better way for executives to manage their customer relationships have raised $7.3-million (U.S.) in a series B financing for their three-year-old startup, Introhive.

The company is based in Fredericton, N.B., where some 20-odd developers (many of them ex-BlackBerry staffers) are located, but it is run out of Washington by Canadian-born co-founders Jody Glidden and Stewart Walchli. It will use the proceeds to expand its sales team and its relationships with key partners, including early supporters and Microsoft. The financiers include, which converted an earlier debenture into equity, Halifax-based Build Ventures and Tech Equity Partners, which invests on behalf of primarily Silicon Valley-based limited partners.

Introhive was partly inspired by the frustrations Mr. Glidden and Mr. Walchli experienced after the smartphone giant bought their previous company, enterprise application developer Chalk Media Corp. in 2009 (they left BlackBerry in 2011 and 2012, respectively). Once inside the BlackBerry tent, they tried to expand Chalk’s business with Fortune 500 customers by tapping internal colleagues with those connections. “But the way BlackBerry had grown up it was really hard to figure out who knew the right people at the client that I was trying to get into,” Mr. Walchli said. “The first idea was: How do we automate who knows who in an enterprise?”