GoInstant made its debut at TechCrunch Disrupt last fall. Today, the browser collaboration startup has reportedly been acquired by Salesforce.com for $70 million, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. [GoInstant has since confirmed the acquisition.]
GoInstant allows people to surf the web with each other without having to download an extra plugin or software. GoInstant Co-Founder Jevon MacDonald calls it co-browsing. You can be on a desktop PC, laptop, tablet – really any web-browsing device, share a given URL and initiate a co-browsing session.
With its launch at TechCrunch Disrupt, GoInstant announced it had raised a $1.7 million round of seed funding from Freestyle Capital, Baseline Ventures, Greylock Partners, Social Leverage, Chamath Palihapitya, Ed Sim and Yuri Milner. Considering the company is reportedly fetching $70 million, that is quite a pay out for a young company with fewer than 20 employees and less than $2 million in funding.
Here’s Jevon MacDonald making his pitch at the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield.
The deal is a smart one for Salesforce.com. The web conferencing market is nearing a state of disruption. The software-based solutions such as WebEx are cumbersome to use, heavyweight in comparison to a lightweight software as a service (SaaS) environment like GoInstant.
“Customer experience is currently one of the main battlegrounds that Oracle, SAP, Adobe and Salesforce are competing in,” said Alan Lepofsky, a vice president and principal analyst with Constellation Research. “The purchase as GoInstant helps Salesforce augment their customer experience platform by enabling brands to easily interact with customers in real-time.”
Salesforce.com has been investing in web conferencing solutions.In January 2011, it acquired DimDim, a web conferencing provider. The deal with GoInstant extends its capability to offer fully integrated, real-time social collaboration. It is a natural fit with Chatter, the Salesforce.com activity stream technology. In this respect, the deal helps Salesforce.com in its increasing competition with Microsoft, which acquired Yammer last month for $1.2 billion.
Analyst Krishnan Subramanian added:
“It is part of Salesforce.com’s strategy to usher the social business era. Put together the tech from DimDim, their existing tech and this = #socbiz.”
GoInstant Co-browsing allows two or more people to browse the web together in a real-time interactive session. All participants that join a co-browse session can click, scroll, type and browse at the same time. Co-browsing does not require any downloads or plugins to work; all users need is a web browser. A co-browse session can be used to co-browse any website for customer support, sales, e-commerce, training and more. Sign up at http://goinstant.com to be notified as new accounts become...
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.