$4 Billion on Acquisitions. Money well spent?

What’s Marc Benioff up to now?

Since the beginning of the year, Salesforce has spent over $4 billion (that’s right, billion, with a “B”) to purchase eight startup companies in niches like workplace productivity, machine learning, and e-commerce. Let’s break that down:

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– $2.8 billion to purchase Demandware which has already been rebranded as the Commerce Cloud. Benioff said: Demandware is an amazing company – the global cloud leader in the multi-billion-dollar digital commerce market.”

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– $750 million to purchase Quip, a cloud-based word processing app that both Benioff and Salesforce Ventures had already invested in. Quip co-founders Bret Taylor and Kevin Gibbs had his to say: “We’re inspired by the possibilities ahead of us. 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.”

BeyondCore Logo– $110 million to purchase BeyondCore, and enterprise analytics tool that adds computational and statistical analysis to the mix of business intelligence. Unlike some of the other acquisitions Salesforce has made, BeyondCore was already integrated with the Salesforce platform, and has consistently mad a big deal about their integration with Microsoft Office too.

– Other acquisitions where deal sizes were not disclosed include the data center analytics startup Coolan, data-entry automation company Implisit Insights, machine learning company PredictionIO, and the Berlin-based digital consultancy YourSL, the firm responsible taking Coca-Cola Germany into the 21st Century.

So what does all this mean?

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 21.36.23Wall Street investors seem to be growing more cautious about the pace of Salesforce acquisitions, and after the recent earnings release from Salesforce, the stock price seemed to reflect that with a slight downward trend, even though for all practical purposes, Salesforce beat out the analysts’ quarterly estimates, and for the first time in the company’s history, topped $2 billion in quarterly revenue. Some have even referred to all these acquisitions as a “buying spree” which would imply there may have been some purchases that were more of the impulse buy, instead of being part of a well thought out master plan.

Keep in mind, I’m not a finance guru, a Wall Street investor, or a financial advisor, I’m simply a marketing employee at a partner company in the Salesforce Ecosystem that is generally regarded as the leader in the Quote-to-Cash space, and my opinions stated here in no way reflect those of my employer or SalesforceBen, or Salesforce, or anyone else except me! #ThisIsTheDisclaimer #TakeMyOpinionAsAnOpinionOnly It is my opinion, all these acquisitions seem to be part of a much grander plan, that Salesforce and Benioff have been working on for several years. A plan they once referred to as the “end to software”. A plan to bring everything any business needs into the cloud, in a secure, scalable way, so that all businesses, large or small, for profit or nonprofit, can become more efficient, operate at a lower cost, and in turn, make a bigger impact on others, all with the hopes of making the world a better place.

What’s your opinion? Tweet me @ericdresh using #SpreeOrPlan and let’s talk more about this!


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