Task management tool Producteev just launched a new iPad app and a native Outlook plugin. Now part of Jive, the company also launched a new pro plan. For $99 per month, you get the Outlook plugin, custom branding and premium support for up to 100 employees.
“There is a big market opportunity with people who use Outlook,” Producteev co-founder Ilan Abehassera told me in a phone interview. “They have no choice but to use Outlook, and they want something that goes further when it comes to task management.”
Producteev’s New Outlook And iPad Apps
When you install the plugin in Outlook, it takes over the task feature. You get all the Producteev features in a native interface. You can add a task like you would in Producteev, with natural language processing (“Finish presentation document @John #demo !tomorrow”). You can browse your activity feed, comments and more.
But the best part is that everything is instantly synced with Producteev on your iPhone, Android phone, Mac and more. In other words, the Outlook plugin is a full-fledged desktop client for Windows users.
It integrates well with Outlook as well. For example, you can add a task to your calendar to reserve time to get it done. “You can drag and drop your tasks to Outlook’s calendar. We are trying to help our users become more effective,” Abehassera said. Similarly, you can transform an email into a task in one click — you will be able to view the email on other platforms where Outlook is not available.
“Our Outlook plugin is low-level engineering. The OffiSync team who was acquired by Jive two years ago worked on it,” Abehassera said. “There are very few teams in the world who can achieve this level of integration.”
As for the iPad app, if you are familiar with the iPhone app, you won’t feel lost. You will find the exact same features on a bigger screen. Task management should be ubiquitous, so the iPad app is a nice addition.
In addition to the new $99 per month premium plan, Producteev lets you subscribe to a limited lifetime plan. If you don’t need support, for $899, you will get the Outlook plugin and custom branding forever.
How An Acquisition Can Succeed
But when I talked with Abehassera, what he was most passionate about was the story behind the acquisition. According to him, what has happened since Jive acquired Producteev is the perfect example of a successful acquisition.
When Producteev was acquired, the company was profitable with an impressive revenue growth rate of 10 percent month over month. After four years of hard work, it became much easier to raise money. In August 2012, Abehassera was in the process of raising a Series A round.
“This is when Jive came along, with an offer that we all agreed on. In particular, Producteev would remain an independent business, continue to grow and more,” Abehassera said. “In three months, the deal was done — it went fast.”
There were a few key elements in this acquisition. The entire team moved to Jive. While Producteev was based in New York, everyone moved to Palo Alto. But everyone kept working on Producteev. Nobody left in the past year and a half.
Producteev’s startup culture is intact. Development didn’t slow down after the acquisition. First, the team restarted from scratch to move to a new architecture that would support more users. Then, Producteev became free to boost its growth — 100,000 companies now use Producteev. And now, customers will be able to subscribe to a new pro plan again.
The development team doubled in size, but ships as often as it used to. And there are some upsides of working with Jive. “We couldn’t have developed the Outlook integration without Jive,” Abehassera said. Finally, with the new paid plans, the product will generate revenue again for Jive, legitimizing the work on this task management tool.
“In general, you won’t find anything more agile than a startup,” Abehassera said. “We proved that we have become more agile ever since we joined Jive.”