Rally Software Buys Flowdock, A Real-Time Social Collaboration Hub For Developers

Rally Software has acquired Flowdock, a real-time collaboration service designed for developers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Flowdock received $650,000 in seed funding in October 2011 from investors that included IDG Ventures, CrunchFund and a number of individuals including Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos.

Rally Software, a SaaS provider of application lifecycle management (ALM) tools, already uses Flowdock to add enhance AgileZen, a project management software. Rally acquired AgileZen in 2010. The Flowdock acquisition will put Rally in more direct competition with competitors such as Atlassian, a collaborative development platform. Rally’s more traditional competitors include enterprise giants such as IBM and HP, which for the most part offer on-premise software tools.

Flowdock, based in Helsinki, is known for its “shared team inbox with group chat.” The service brings activity from project management tools such as Pivotal Tracker and JIRA, version control systems such as GitHub, BitBucket and Kiln and customer feedback channels that include Zendesk, email lists and other collaborative networks. All the data is fed into one consumable stream.

Founder Otto Hilska wrote on Quora last year that Flowdock’s real-time capability comes from a messaging backend that also acts as a SMTP server accepting incoming emails in realtime, connecting to the different services. Messages are stored in MongoDB, the NoSQL database.

Rally will use the acquisition to create a new R&D facility in Helsinki. All nine employees will join Rally, bringing its total to 379 people. Rally, based in Boulder, also has offices in Raleigh, North Carolina; Bellevue, Washington; London; Amsterdam and Melbourne.

Rally raised $20 million in 2007 from Meritech Capital Partners. Rally supports 154,000 paid users and more than 1,000 customers, including 36 of the Fortune 100 companies.