Salesforce will acquire tiny Canadian startup GoInstant for more than $70 million, the Wall Street Journal reports.That’s a pretty big payout for GoInstant, which employs 12 people, according to its website, and raised $1.7 million from some Valley A-list angels, including LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, Facebook investor Yuri Milner and former Facebook exec Chamath Palihapitiya. It also has backing from VCs Baseline Ventures and Freestyle Capital.
The company makes a cool “co-browsing” technology that lets a group of people all look at the same website at the same time and chat about it. But no one else can see inside your screen — so they aren’t seeing your actual desktop … just the one browser window.
It’s a good tool for customer technical support apps, or for meetings, or presentations. Its claim to fame is that it doesn’t require a plug in, or use Java or Flash — so its particularly good for mobile devices like the iPhone or iPad.
It’s an interesting buy for Salesforce.com as GoInstant was trying to work its way into the social commerce market — helping people buy stuff from their cell phones.
Salesforce.com has been remaking itself into “the social enterprise” buying up companies that let enterprises chat, or collaborate. With this, it looks like Salesforce could be eying a move into mobile commerce, too.