Salesforce Challenges Office 365 With Acquisition of Quip

Quip is a mobile-first word processing and spreadsheet app that brings new competition to Microsoft Office 365 or OpenOffice and integrates directly with Slack.

Salesforce, which has been as progressive a new-generation Silicon Valley establishment as there is during its 17-year lifetime, continues to add applications and services to its already impressive arsenal of tools.

The San Francisco-based web services giant revealed Aug. 1 that it has acquired Quip, a cloud-based word processing app co-founded by former Facebook CTO Bret Taylor.

While the official transaction details were not released, TechCrunch cited two sources close to the deal who said the total price is $750 million in cash and stock. The stock amounts to $582 million of the total, as noted in Salesforce's Aug. 1 8K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The legal document Salesforce filed on the deal says that "Quip capital stock [has] an aggregate value of approximately $582 million not including consideration attributable to Salesforce Ventures' existing investment in Quip."

Mobile-First Productivity App

Quip, which integrates directly with the popular Slack collaboration app, is a mobile-first word-processing and spreadsheet app that brings new competition to Microsoft Office 365 and OpenOffice. It also has a desktop version and offers chat rooms to give it a social-network look and feel.

Quip founder Taylor has said he wants his platform to replace both Office and email. The convention now is to create a document, attach it to an email or upload it to Dropbox or Box and then email a note to people about the document. Quip has a built-in chat element for every document that negates that whole process.

While Quip works directly with Microsoft Office and Google Apps, it was designed to be an alternative from Day 1—which makes it a double-agent of sorts.

Quip was founded in 2012 and had raised a total of $45 million in funding, with investors that include Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, Salesforce Ventures, Peter Fenton and Benchmark, Greylock and Yuri Milner. Quip already has sold its platform into several key companies, including Facebook.

Co-Founders Will Stay at Salesforce

Quip said in a corporate blog post announcing the deal that it will continue its operations as normal under Salesforce. Taylor and co-founder, former Google executive Kevin Gibbs, will remain at Salesforce.

"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," Taylor and Gibbs wrote. "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."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...