In a bid to diversify its product offerings, cloud services provider Salesforce has bought word processing startup Quip for $582 million, the companies revealed Monday. While Salesforce made the announcement through a Form 8-K filing, Quip announced the news in a blog post.
Started in 2012 by Bret Taylor, former chief technology officer at Facebook, and Kevin Gibbs, who led engineering and product at Google, Quip began as an app-only platform to allow collaborative word processing. Built around the premise that “old tools ... built on an old paradigm, with an old technology stack and in a non-mobile era ... [were] letting us down,” the app allows you to “build a living document” where “the content (words, images, spreadsheet, data) becomes the communication.”
The platform has diversified since, and is now available for desktops as well as in a web-based version. It also integrates social interactions and has inbuilt chat rooms.
Following the buyout, an agreement for which was made on July 30, Quip will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Salesforce and the transaction is expected to close in the quarter ending October 2016, according to the company’s Form 8-K.
In a blog post, Quip said: “As part of Salesforce, we will be able to expand our service more quickly and reach millions of people all over the world — which has been our mission since day one. And, we’ll be able to extend the Salesforce Customer Success Platform in powerful new ways with our next-generation productivity capabilities. The possibilities of mixing data, content and communication are amazing.”
According to TechCrunch, the entire Quip team, about 40 people, will stay in place, as will Taylor and Gibbs.
The move may help Salesforce compete better against one of its chief rivals, Microsoft, which has been making steady inroads into the cloud computing and CRM areas. Recently, both companies were bidding for LinkedIn, which was finally bought by Microsoft for $26 billion. Its Office suite of applications is precisely one of the old tools Quip sells itself as a replacement for, and Salesforce would be looking to attract some dedicated Microsoft customers away with its new purchase.
Shares of Salesforce fell 0.95 percent during Monday trade on the New York Stock Exchange but gained 0.35 percent in after-hours trading.