On Thursday, Wipro confirmed rumours that it was buying Indianapolis-based Appirio. It paid $500 million.
Appirio was co-founded by CEO Chris Barbin in 2006 and backed by Fidelity, General Atlantic and Sequoia (Sequoia’s A-list VC Jim Goetz was on its board.)
While half a billion is undoubtedly a nice exit for Barbin, WiPro didn’t exactly overpay. Appirio had raised over $110 million in venture funding, including a $35 million round in April, 2015 that valued the company at $535 million, according to Pitchbook. It was valued at $500 million prior to that last round.
Investors owned just over half the company.
Appirio is a consultant that helps businesses move to cloud computing services like Salesforce, Workday, Google Apps, Cornerstone and others. It also helps companies write custom apps on top of those services. It has about 1,250 employees but it also owns Topcoder, a startup it bought in 2013. Topcoder is a marketplace for hiring programmers, which became really popular with about 500,000 coders using it when Appirio bought it.
Appirio is particularly well known as a Salesforce consultant, so much so that Marc Benioff himself commented on the sale in the press release, saying: “Chris and his team have spend the last decade building Appirio into a global leader delivering amazing customer experiences with Salesforce. I couldn’t be more proud of Appirio as it joins Wipro, where together they will continue to drive customer success on a much larger scale.”
It’s a bit curious that Benioff didn’t buy Appirio for Salesforce, but given how he’s giving this deal his public blessing, it doesn’t look like his heart was broken over it.
WiPro wanted Appirio for its close partnerships with Salesforce and Workday and a customer list that includes Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Home Depot, and Sony PlayStation.
And Workday’s CEO Aneel Bhusri has given a similar thumbs up to the deal, saying in the press release, “Appirio has played a key role in the Workday Community, and we’re thrilled to see such a great opportunity for the team’s continued growth.”
Before founding Appirio, Barbin was an exec at Borland International, a one-time big software developer tools maker headquartered in Scotts Valley, California, just outside the Bay Area. Micro Focus bought Borland in 2009 for $75 million.