Old CRM meet new CRM: Salesforce.com to buy RelateIQ

by tech on July 11, 2014

Salesforce.com is in the buying mood again, this time opening its wallet to buy RelateIQ , according to SEC documents outlining a stock deal valued at over $390 million. The news was first reported by Re-code and was confirmed in a subsequent RelateIQ blog post.

RelateIQ uses (buzzword alert) big data and machine learning techniques to help customers — including Asana, Knewton and T3 Advisors — monitor relationships with clients or prospects. In theory it would, for example, flag an important customer and recommend a call or other outreach if there had been no communication with that company in a set amount of time.  The company’s promise is that it constantly evaluates incoming data  and adjusts its algorithm to ensure the best outcome.

Two years ago, Stacey Higginbotham profiled the then-stealthy big data startup that was aiming to lead the next-generation customer relationship management charge. Fast forward to March of 2014, and RelateIQ closed a $40 million round, bringing total investment to a whopping $245 million from backers including  Redpoint Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Felicis Ventures and News Corp.

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff is nothing if not acquisitive. It’s bulked up its CRM- and social media technologies with buys of ExactTarget last year for $2.5 billion; Buddy Media the year before for $800 million along with several other,smaller acquisitions over the past few years. In doing so it’s in an arms race with competitor/partner Oracle, SAP and others to snap up both technologies, competitors and customer lists.




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