The Snapchat of business software: That might sound like an oxymoron, but it's also a pretty good description of CloudApp's increasingly popular collaboration software. Instead of passing around selfies with silly filters, CloudApp's users send each other annotated screenshots, animation prototypes, and short videos of bugs that they've reproduced. The company says it's on track to hit $3 million in revenue this year.

CEO Tyler Koblasa told Inc. that the product idea was sparked by the need for "a faster way to share what's on my screen." Koblasa calls visual communication "a higher-fidelity way to get an idea across," and he points to the popularity of GIFs and emoji among consumer apps. CloudApp would like to be just as ubiquitous in millennials' work lives as Snapchat is in their social lives.

CloudApp has existed for five years, although the company didn't take on any outside capital until a couple of years ago. In December 2016, the company raised $1 million in a round led by Bloomberg Beta, bringing its funding to $3 million in total. The capital will go toward building out CloudApp's sales and marketing teams. CloudApp wants to penetrate the very large market of "every information worker," as Koblasa puts it, especially "anyone that's designing, building, selling, and supporting a technology product." He mentioned Slack and Trello as companies that also serve CloudApp's target market.

CloudApp's 500 paying customers include Foursquare, Zendesk, Quora, Twitch.tv, and MailChimp (which itself has almost 500 seats companywide). Other users include Tumblr, Facebook, and The New York Times. CloudApp's monthly active users number 65,000, and the active proportion of all users has risen from 15 percent in June 2016 to 23 percent in February 2017. So far, all of CloudApp's growth is organic -- it hasn't spent any money on marketing. On average, each user who signs up for a team account will invite 8.7 other team members.

Comparisons to Snapchat aside, CloudApp's growth curve calls to mind the early days of Slack. The similarities don't stop there. The two also share friendly design and an emphasis on asynchronous communication, as well as PowerPoint's drag-and-drop functionality. The product aids collaboration, Koblasa explains, since recipients "can actually add a quick comment, or an annotation, or say 'Change this,' to speed up that back-and-forth as though you were sitting in the same room."

CloudApp's customers build the service into their workflow. For example, a MailChimp support person might use CloudApp to share a video snippet with a confused user. A million CloudApp links are shared per month, the company told Inc.

Corrections: The company has raised $3 million in total, not just from Bloomberg Beta. Tumblr, Facebook, and The New York Times are active users, but not paying customers. The story has been updated to reflect these facts.

Published on: Mar 22, 2017