It looks like Microsoft has been eyeing the independent social enterprise platform Yammer, according to various reports from Bloomberg and Business Insider. If the talk is true, this could be one of the biggest tech acquisitions of the year since Bloomberg has reported that Yammer could be valued north of $1 billion.
The San Francisco startup was founded by David Sacks, the former chief operating officer at PayPal.
Back in February, Yammer raised $85 million at a valuation of more than $600 million and interest in the company as an inter-company communication and collaboration tool has been high for a while.
Since its inception in 2008, Yammer has raised around $142 million from VCs such as DFJ Growth, SOcial+Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Capricorn Investment Group LLC, the investment arm of Jeff Skoll, Khosla Ventures, Crunchfund, Charles River Ventures, Emergence Capital, Founders Fund and U.S. Venture Partners.
That last $85 million round was put toward rapid expansion in an environment that was ramping up -- as Salesforce launched Chatter and Jive Software went public.
Social enterprise efforts have been big business lately. While in a different arm of the social experience, the purchases of Buddy Media by Salesforce for $689 million and the Oracle purchase of Vitrue for around $300 million are heating up the desire for businesses to buy social tools.
Adding Yammer could definitely help Microsoft provide its software customers with social-networking tools and beef-up the suite of products it offers corporate customers.
Yammer is used by more than 200,000 companies, including Ebay and Ford Motor. Yammer is also used by roughly 85% of the Fortune 500.
Since Yammer is an enterprise social network provider (allowing employees to collaborate across departments, countries, content and applications) it could fold in well with Microsoft's Lync as well as bring together Lync and SharePoint.
Earlier this year, Yammer integrated its services with Microsoft Dynamics, offering Universal Search across enterprise applications and devices.