Status-Report Startup Thinkfuse Acquired by Salesforce
The trend of enterprise software consolidation marches on. On the same day that Microsoft confirmed its $1.2 billion buyout of corporate communication platform Yammer, Seattle startup Thinkfuse announced that it’s being acquired by Salesforce.com.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. It doesn’t sound like the Thinkfuse product will be ported over to Salesforce—in its blog post, Thinkfuse says its service is being shut down in one month, and all customer data deleted if it’s not downloaded by then. All five members of the Thinkfuse team will be joining Salesforce, and will be based in Seattle.
“Unfortunately, I can’t comment on Salesforce product plans or what the team will be working on,” Thinkfuse CEO Aydin Ghajar tells me in an e-mail.
Thinkfuse just started offering its product publicly at the end of April. The software-as-a-service offering essentially turned e-mail into a tool for generating internal company status reports, which could then be categorized, searched, and tracked. The idea was apparently inspired by a similar tool used at Google called “Snippets.”
Thinkfuse offered its service on a freemium model, but wasn’t cashing any checks yet: Ghajar says Thinkfuse had fewer than 10,000 users at around 500 companies, but it wasn’t banking any revenue.
Thinkfuse was part of the 2010 class of TechStars Seattle, and had a team of high-profile investors—including Ali and Hadi Partovi, SV Angel, and Founder’s Co-op—in its $500,000 initial round. The company was founded by former Google and Microsoft engineers Brandon Bloom and Steve Krenzel, and headed by Ghajar, a veteran of iLike. Ghajar says the introduction to Salesforce’s business development team was made by iLike co-founder Hadi Partovi.
On top of helping managers track projects and employee progress, Thinkfuse had some interesting abilities to help companies keep an eye on worker morale. In a recent announcement, the startup said it was “incorporating language used in movie reviews as a barometer of positive and negative words” to help customer Agio Technology track the sentiments its employees were expressing in status and project updates. (Agio’s CEO was a Thinkfuse investor.)
Like Yammer, Jive, and other companies in the active enterprise software market, Thinkfuse is part of the growing consumerization of business IT—bringing functions and design inspired by consumer software and Websites over to the corporate world.