Software giant Microsoft is in the process of trying to reinvent itself, and part of that reinvention evidently involves acquiring startups that have created products that compete with its own. The latest acquisition is calendar app maker Sunrise, which Microsoft shelled out at least $100 million for according to our sources.
Sunrise has a suite of calendar products for mobile and desktop users that connects with and consolidates calendars from different providers. It’s available on the iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and on the Mac App Store, as well as offering a web client.
Users can access their calendars from Google, iCloud, and Microsoft Exchange, as well as connecting to a wide range of other third-party apps. That cross-device and cross-platform support has helped it gain significant traction among users.
The purchase furthers Microsoft’s push into supporting the platforms of rival technology firms. Microsoft made waves when it released a touch-friendly version of Office for Apple iOS, for example, before it did so for its own Windows 10 platform.
We’ve heard Microsoft will keep the Sunrise apps alive as stand-alone products, while using some of the startup’s technology for its own future products. That’s similar to what it did with Acompli, which Microsoft acquired for $200 million. That acquisition ended up becoming a part of its most recent Outlook for Android and iOS apps, launched just last week.
The two purchases indicate that Microsoft is investing heavily in the mobile productivity space in ways that transcend its traditional set of Office apps. The company is currently executing a strategic shift from selling standalone apps, to selling Office as a service to both consumers and businesses. For that to work, Office has to be a daily part of the modern smartphone users’ productivity cycle. $300 million deep, Microsoft could keep pulling the trigger.
Update: Microsoft declined to comment on our story.
Founded in 2012, Sunrise raised $8.2 million from investors that include Balderton Capital, Resolute.vc, NextView Ventures, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, BoxGroup, 500 Startups, John Maloney, Slow Ventures, David King, Andrew Kortina, Adam Nash, Elliot Shmukler, Hunter Walk, Gustaf Alströmer, Loic Le Meur, Bill Lee, and Adam Mosseri.