If you’ve been curious about Silk Road, the illegal Internet market for drugs, maybe you tried to point your browser at SilkRoad.com.
You can’t find the Silk Road black market like that, but you will find a perfectly legit company called SilkRoad. It offers a human resources cloud app and competes with the likes of Workday, SuccessFactors and Taleo.
The company was founded in 2003 by enterprise bigwig “Flip” Filipowski, best known as the founder and CEO of Platinum Technology which sold to Computer Associates in 1999 for $US4 billion dollars.
Filipowski couldn’t have known in 2003 that the name Silk Road would be usurped by the black market. But it doesn’t look like the association has hurt the company any.
For instance, today, the company nabbed a $US16 investment round, lead by Foundation Capital with Intel Capital and others participating, bringing its total funding to $US145 million.
And maybe having a similar name has helped it. The first stories about Silk Road, the drug marketplace, began circulating in 2011 (thanks to Gawker and NPR), but in early 2013, tech sites began covering the site more regularly.
Look at how the traffic at legit site SilkRoad.com leaped at the start of the year, according to Compete.com:
It’s not the misdirected traffic that has this company flourishing. Its success comes from its leaders and the fact that it plays in a hot enterprise market filled with spectacular exits: Oracle bought Taleo for $US1.2 billion; SAP bought SuccessFactors for $US3.4 billion; Workday’s stock is soaring from an opening IPO price of $US48 to $US74 (a $US12.76 billion market cap).
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