Salesforce.com announces that it has agreed to acquire Jigsaw, a Website that uses crowdsourcing to build and maintain an online database of business contacts, in a deal that could be worth around $142 million. The deal will give Salesforce an opening into the cloud-based B2B data service market and allow its third-party developers and vendors to build applications that make use of Jigsaw's database information. Salesforce has been aggressively introducing new offerings recently, notably its Facebook-like Chatter platform.
Salesforce.com announced on April 21 that it had entered into an agreement
to acquire Jigsaw, a company that uses crowdsourcing to build and maintain an
online database of business contacts. The deal is expected to close in the
second quarter of fiscal year 2011, with Salesforce.com reportedly paying
around $142 million.
Salesforce.com said it intends to combine its cloud-based CRM
applications and platform with Jigsaw's own cloud model for data acquisition
and structuring, giving Salesforce.com an entry into the $3 billion market for
cloud-based business-to-business data services. At the same time, the
acquisition will open up new opportunities for Salesforce.com's third-party
developers, who theoretically will be able to build applications that use Jigsaw's
business-contact data, and will allow for partnerships between Salesforce.com
and data-trafficking companies such as LexisNexis.
"With Jigsaw, we'll make it as easy as Wikipedia to source data, as
easy as iTunes to buy data and as easy as Facebook to stay updated as the data
changes," Marc Benioff, CEO of
Salesforce.com, said in an April 21 statement.
Jigsaw relies on its members submitting information such as title, company
and e-mail address; in turn, companies and professionals can purchase that
contact data through Jigsaw. The Website also offers its members
"points" in exchange for keeping contact data up-to-date.
Over the past few weeks, Salesforce.com has been aggressively updating its
offerings. On April 8, the company announced a new round of private
beta testing for Salesforce Chatter,
an enterprise social collaboration
platform. Available sometime in 2010 and included in all paid editions of
Salesforce CRM and Force.com, Salesforce
Chatter looks and operates very much like Facebook, with employees being able
to leave messages for each other and notices about cases and service-level
During Chatter's unveiling in New York,
Benioff suggested that cloud-based enterprise applications would do well to
take a philosophical page from more consumer-oriented startups such as
Facebook, and imbue their offerings with a certain degree of easy-to-use
consumer functionality. Facebook, along with YouTube and similar offerings,
constituted in Benioff's view the forefront of what he termed, "Cloud
2," the next paradigm in cloud-based computing.
"I know more about strangers on Facebook than I do about my own
employees," Benioff joked to an audience of media, analysts and assorted
corporate guests. "But that shows there are exciting new models we can
Part of the appeal of Facebook and its ilk, Benioff continued, is their
ability to embrace the "new mobile Internet revolution," combining
social networking and real-time collaboration functionality with smartphone
Also on April 8, Salesforce.com launched AppExchange 2, the next generation
of its online enterprise-application storefront, which will feature a
"ChatterExchange" with Chatter-enabled social enterprise applications
built by third-party developers.