Salesforce.com, the San Francisco-based enterprise cloud computing company, has acquired Assistly, a virtual customer-service help desk whose customers include Klout, Instagram, and Spotify, among others. Assistly’s investors include Bullpen Capital, Index Ventures, Salesforce.com, Social Leverage and True Ventures. Salesforce is paying $50 million in cash for the company, also based in San Francisco. Assistly had had raised $5.7 million since its 2009 founding.
Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), the enterprise cloud computing (http://www.salesforce.com/cloudcomputing/) company, today announced it has acquired Assistly, an instant customer-service help desk built for the cloud.
Assistly lets small companies and emerging businesses set up and deliver social customer-service in minutes, with zero-touch onboarding. With Assistly, companies can manage service cases and engage with customers in real time over a range of channels – including Facebook, Twitter, Web chats, e-mail and phone – all from one, easy-to-use interface. An innovative business model makes it easy for all employees to join in and engage with customers as they’re needed and is why Assistly is used by some of the world’s fastest-growing companies like Instagram, Klout, One Kings Lane, Spotify and Square.
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“Salesforce has spent over a decade democratizing enterprise applications in the cloud,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com. “The Assistly acquisition doubles down on that strategy by putting us at the heart of the new trend of customer service help desk applications that have instant sign up and zero-touch onboarding, expanding the potential reach of the Service Cloud to millions of companies around the world.”
“We’re committed to making the Service Cloud number one for the smallest to the largest companies in the world,” said Alex Dayon, executive vice president, applications, salesforce.com. “We are excited that with Assistly’s innovative technology and business model, the Service Cloud will now enable even the smallest companies to become a social enterprise.”
“We started Assistly with the goal of bringing awesomely responsive customer support tools to the millions of small businesses struggling to serve customers in today’s social world,” said Alex Bard, CEO, Assistly. “As part of salesforce.com and the Service Cloud family, Assistly can continue to deliver and improve one of the world’s most-innovative customer-service applications. For our customers, this will be an unbeatable combination.”
Further Democratizes Service Cloud, Expanding its Potential Reach to Millions of Companies
With approximately 104,000 customers, salesforce.com has always been the leader in democratizing enterprise applications for businesses of all sizes.
Today, more than 17,000 companies are using the Salesforce Service Cloud to connect with customers across both traditional and social channels; engage directly with their customers over Facebook, Twitter and other social communities; and leverage mobile capabilities like Apple’s FaceTime. Earlier this year, the Service Cloud was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers.
With Assistly, salesforce.com now extends that commitment to millions of small and emerging businesses that have been waiting for a customer-service help desk application with instant sign up, zero-touch onboarding, and capabilities and pricing scaled to their needs.
Assistly enables any employee to sign up and start to deliver support in minutes – with the speed, efficiency and flexibility small companies and emerging businesses need to provide social customer-service. The customer-service application pulls all customer conversations, regardless of channel, into a single interface – making it easy to engage in real time with any customer. Case filters, business rules and workflows ensure no request goes unresolved.
Assistly’s flexible pricing is preferred by small and emerging businesses. Any employee can have an account, and companies can choose to pay by the hour – allowing employees from different teams to pitch in to handle peak loads, meet seasonal demands or just help out in busy times as they’re needed. Companies can upgrade these users to full-time agents at $49 per person per month for unlimited use.
Adding Assistly to the Service Cloud family will enable salesforce.com to extend its reach to millions of small companies. The U.S. alone has 5.8 million businesses with 99 or fewer employees, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
And as part of the Service Cloud family, Assistly customers that continue to grow will have the option to migrate to other Service Cloud products and services over time.
With Assistly, Even the Smallest Companies Can Deliver Social Customer-Service
Salesforce.com is leading the shift to the social enterprise, helping companies leverage social, mobile and open cloud technologies to put customers at the heart of their business. For many organizations, that shift begins with customer service, as businesses engage with their customers where they are now – on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
With Assistly, now even the smallest companies can manage service cases and engage with customers in real time over a range of channels – including Facebook, Twitter, Web chats, e-mail and phone – all from one, easy-to-use interface.
The combination of Assistly and the Service Cloud makes it easy for any company, regardless of size, to transform itself into a social enterprise.
Salesforce.com acquired Assistly for approximately $50 million in cash, net of cash acquired. As part of the transaction salesforce.com also assumed Assistly’s unvested options and will issue restricted stock units to certain Assistly shareholders.
The acquisition is expected to have no material impact to salesforce.com’s revenue in the third quarter and fiscal year ending January 31, 2012. Including an expected one-time investment gain related to the transaction, salesforce.com expects no material impact to its projected fiscal third quarter non-GAAP EPS. For the fiscal year ending January 31, 2012, the acquisition of Assistly is expected to reduce non-GAAP EPS by approximately ($0.02) to approximately $1.28 to $1.30.
Non-GAAP EPS estimates exclude the impact of the following non-cash items: stock-based compensation, amortization of acquisition-related intangibles, and the tax consequences associated with these items. The financial impact of the acquisition on a GAAP basis cannot be estimated until the allocation of the purchase price is completed following the closing of the acquisition. However, salesforce.com currently expects that the dilutive impact of the acquisition to EPS will be significantly greater on a GAAP basis than a non-GAAP basis.
Management Conference Call
Salesforce.com will host a conference call with investors at 5 pm (ET) / 2 pm (PT), Sept. 21, 2011, to discuss this transaction. A live dial-in is available domestically at (866) 901-7332. International callers may dial (706) 902-1764. For both calls, the passcode is salesforce.com or 11996821. A live webcast of the event will be available on the salesforce.com Investor Relations website http://www.salesforce.com/company/investor/. A replay will be available at (800) 642-1687 or (706) 645-9291, with passcode 11996821 until midnight (ET) October 21, 2011.
Assistly was founded in 2009 by customer- service industry veterans Alex Bard, CEO; Gary Benitt, chief operating officer; Brad Birnbaum, chief technology officer; and Jeremy Suriel, chief architect. Assistly has attracted an impressive roster of well-known advisors, including Kenny Van Zant, angel investor; Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks; David Liu, previously a senior vice president of AOL and now COO of Knewton; and Howard Lindzon, a hedge fund manager and early stage investor.
Assistly investors include Bullpen Capital, Index Ventures, salesforce.com, Social Leverage and True Ventures.
New customers can sign up in minutes at: http://try.assistly.com/salesforce .
With approximately 104,000 customers, salesforce.com is the enterprise cloud computing company that is leading the shift to the social enterprise. Social enterprises leverage social, mobile and open cloud technologies to put customers at the heart of their business. Based on salesforce.com’s real-time, multitenant architecture, the company’s platform and application services include:
Salesforce Chatter, a secure, private social network for your business
Salesforce Sales Cloud, for sales force automation and contact management
Salesforce Service Cloud, for customer service and support solutions
Salesforce Radian6, for social media monitoring and engagement
Salesforce Data.com, for the most complete source of accurate business data
AppExchange, the leading marketplace for enterprise cloud computing applications
Force.com, for custom application development
Heroku, for building social and mobile customer apps
Database.com, the world’s first enterprise cloud database
Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase salesforce.com applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “CRM.” For more information please visit http://salesforce.com, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements about salesforce.com and Assistly, including statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning salesforce.com’s acquisition of Assistly, the potential financial impact of the acquisition, potential related expenses, anticipated product information and strategy, benefits of the acquisition to customers and others in the industry, continued growth of Salesforce Service Cloud and Assistly offerings and their reach to small businesses, drive and shift to social enterprise, and general business outlook. When used in this press release, the words “can,” “will,” “intends,” “expects,” “is expected,” similar expressions and any other statements that are not historical facts are intended to identify those assertions as forward-looking statements. Any such statement may be influenced by a variety of factors, many of which are beyond the control of salesforce.com or Assistly, that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected, described, expressed or implied in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties. Potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the anticipated synergies and benefits of the combined companies may not be achieved, the combined companies may experience delays, unexpected costs or be unable to complete integration activities in a timely manner, if at all, responses from competitors, customers and developers, general economic conditions in the markets in which either company does business, and the possibility that salesforce.com or Assistly may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors. Accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what impact they will have on the results of operations or financial condition of salesforce.com or Assistly.
In addition, please refer to the documents that salesforce.com files with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. These filings identify and address other important factors that could cause salesforce.com’s financial and operational results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements set forth in this press release. You are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Neither salesforce.com nor Assistly is under any duty to update any of the information in this press release.
©2011 salesforce.com, inc. All rights reserved. Salesforce.com, Salesforce, Chatter, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Radian6, Jigsaw, AppExchange, Force.com, Heroku, and all associated logos are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc. in the United States and other countries. Other names used herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.