Salesforce paid over $33 million to buy two tiny startups

Salesforce isn’t the most acquisitive tech company out there. It tends to invest rather than buy.

When it really wants a company, we know that Salesforce will pay big for it.

But when it buys a tiny startup, it’s unclear if it’s fair, generous, or a bargain hunter.

A recent SEC filing indicates that Salesforce doesn’t go for the jugular and pays reasonably well in those cases, too.

The company made three small acquisitions this year and in a form filed with the SEC on Monday, it revealed the deal size of one: In July 31, 2015, it acquired Paris company Kerensen Consulting for $US24.2 million. Salesforce recently expanded big time into Paris and bought Kerensen to give it a local foothold in the market.

Salesforce also said it acquired two other companies in 2015 and spent a total of $US33.1 million.

Those companies were both tiny startups: Toopher, bought in April and Tempo AI bought in May.

Obviously, we don’t know exactly how much of the $US33 million went to each company, its founders and investors, but we can deduce a little.

We know that Toopher’s seven employees were granted a total of 37,408 shares, worth about $US2.5 million in April, according to an earlier SEC form filed by Salesforce. Toopher was a four-year old enterprise security startup that raised about $US3 million in VC funds.

Tempo AI was an iOS calendar app and an acqu-hire. It raised $US12.5 million in venture capital and had about a dozen employees, according to a LinkedIn search. Salesforce shut down the app shortly after buying the company and the team was integrated into RelateIQ, another company Salesforce bought. Salesforce paid $US390 million for RelateIQ in 2014, considered a premium price.

If Salesforce merely cashed out the investors at both of the startups it bought this year, it would have spent $US15.5 million. It paid more than double.

So the evidence looks like this was a decent exit for these startups.

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