Group Collab Service Huddle Raises $10.2 Million For U.S. Drive

London-based Huddle, a software-as-a-service team web collaboration tool, says it’s raised million in VC funds to try making an entry to the U.S. market.

The money sees Huddle open a San Francisco office, managed by co-founder Andy McLoughlin, and is led by Matrix Partners along with previous investors Eden Ventures, from which Huddle raised million back in 2007, and chairman Charles McGregor.

The company says it wants to hire a 20-strong U.S. sales force, led by a U.S. sales VP, and has already hired Lithium’s Jeff Porter as U.S. alliances VP and Jaan Orvet as user experience director. It wants to triple its staff

Web-based team collaboration is not an uncrowded space, counting the likes of WebEx and Basecamp among the biggest competitors, as well as, well, email, IM, Outlook calendar etc. Huddle’s founders reckon the market is worth “at least billion to billion a year”. Its own prices run from $8 per month.

Huddle says it became cashflow-positive last year. The U.S. direction puts its co-founders in that position of having to answer questions about the relative strengths of Europe’s tech startup scene versus Silicon Valley’s…

They write: “We have always believed that European start-ups CAN make it big on the global stage and we’ve always tried to adhere to the mantra ‘go big or go home’ … “The U.S. is a much bigger market.” They promise to bring “a good old-fashioned British drinking session” to San Francisco.