CRM and cloud giant Salesforce.com is shelling out $170 million to fully acquire its Japanese subsidiary, Salesforce Japan, from VC firm SunBridge and other stockholders. The subsidiary was formed in 2000 as a joint venture between Salesforce and SunBridge. Until now, Salesforce has the majority control (with 73 percent) but is purchasing all outstanding shares from the VC firm and other stockholders. Salesforce says the joint venture agreement has subsequently been terminated with the acquisition.
It appears that the reasoning behind the move is financial. Salesforce says that Jaapan is the largest revenue contributor in Asia Pacific for Salesforce, and “acquiring full ownership in Salesforce Japan allows Salesforce.com to further benefit from the growth in the Japanese cloud computing market and integrate and align its financial and operational functions.” In the first half of 2010, Asia Pacific sales accounted for 14 percent of Salesforce.com’s revenue, which is an 11 percent increase from the same period in 2009.
A few weeks ago, Salesforce announced that it would be adding a new data center in Tokyo to support a growing customer base in Japan. Clearly the company sees the country as a valuable revenue stream and counts Japan-based Canon and Fujitsu as customers.
Salesforce is an enterprise cloud computing company that provides business software on a subscription basis. The company is best known for its on-demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions. Salesforce was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, and went public in June 2004. Salesforce has been a pioneer in developing enterprise platforms through its innovative AppExchange directory of on-demand applications, and its Force.com “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) API for extending Salesforce.