Salesforce, one of the most successful SaaS companies for business software, announced today that it has agreed to acquire Jigsaw for $142 million in cash, in addition to a potential $14 million in earn-outs.
An acquisition of Jigsaw was something Bambi Francisco predicted in an episode of VatorBox, titled "Will Jigsaw be acquired, or has it peaked?"
Jigsaw seeks to deliver up-to-date and accurate crowd-sourced business data like contact information, in the same way that Wikipedia allows just about any user to contribute to entries. Since its founding, the San Mateo, Ca-based startup has raised a little over $20 million in venture capital from Austin Ventures, El Dorado Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners.
As a result of the acquisition, Salesforce will be combining the forces of its own suite of CRM applications and enterprise cloud platform with Jigsaw's large database of business contact information.
The purchaser promises that potential users can still join and contribute to Jigsaw's database, even if not Salesforce.com customers. Current Jigsaw community members can continue to contribute to the database as well.
Jigsaw is valuable not only because companies or professionals can purchase contact data, but also because third-party developers can and probably will create new applications that take advantage of Jigsaw's database.
“Salesforce.com is excited to bring the data services industry into the era of Cloud 2,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce. “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.”
"Cloud-based business to business data services" is a $3 billion market, according to Benioff's company.
Interestingly, when we profiled Jigsaw over the summer, CEO Jim Fowler had stated that he wanted his company to “lead the DaaS revolution in very much the same way that Salesforce has lead the SaaS revolution.”
Now, Salesforce is doing both.