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Salesforce just spent $276 million in cash and $50 million in stock to acquire Radian6, which makes tools for big companies to monitor their social media presence, the company has just announced.Sounds like a good idea: that’s the kind of software that solves a real need that big corporations are always going to have for marketing and research.
One thing is eyebrow-raising, though: Loic Le Meur’s Seesmic, which makes a big social media client, just pivoted again to provide a similar service, and in the process raised a $4 million round led by… Salesforce.
We’re sure everyone will put on a happy face, say that what Seesmic does is really totally different from what Radian6 does, and everyone loves everyone. It’s what they always say in situations like these. And it’s almost never true. If a Salesforce customer gets its social media marketing tools from Salesforce, why would they pay for what Seesmic has to offer?
A classic pitfall of raising money from a big company in your industry is that they’re going to start competing with you, but we didn’t think it would happen so fast.