Salesforce Buys Word-Processing App Quip for $582 Million

  • Startup’s co-founder was former Facebook technology officer
  • Purchase expands Salesforce’s productivity software lineup

Salesforce.com Inc. said it agreed to buy startup Quip Inc., which provides word-processing tools, for about $582 million in stock, expanding its lineup of products to reach deeper into customer budgets.

Salesforce will issue stock valued at $73.81 to $90.22 in exchange for outstanding shares of Quip, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing. The sale price doesn’t include the stake in Quip owned by Salesforce Ventures. The agreement was signed on July 30 and is expected to close in the fiscal third quarter, according to the filing.

Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff has been buying up companies to widen Salesforce’s product offerings and combat greater competition from Microsoft Corp., SAP SE and Oracle Corp. In June, Salesforce struck a deal to pay about $2.8 billion for Demandware, pushing it into the e-commerce industry. Earlier this year, Salesforce was outbid by Microsoft to acquire professional-networking service LinkedIn Corp.

Quip, whose products compete with Microsoft’s Word and Google Docs, helps users write and share documents with others -- on a smartphone or other devices. In a blog post, Quip co-founders Bret Taylor and Kevin Gibbs said the sale was a good move for the startup. Taylor is known in Silicon Valley for previous positions at other large tech companies, including a stint as chief technology officer at Facebook Inc. prior to starting Quip.

“Salesforce and Quip share the same philosophy about software: it should be in the cloud, built for the mobile era, and be inherently social,” the pair said in the post. “Salesforce pioneered the shift to enterprise cloud computing -- and Quip has been working since 2012 to reimagine a productivity platform for teams that allows them to be more connected, more collaborative and get more work done.”

The deal comes amid an increase in acquisition activity among business software companies. Last week, Oracle unveiled a $9.3 billion agreement to buy NetSuite Inc., which provides tools for managing business functions. That came after Microsoft announced its planned purchase of LinkedIn for about $26 billion.

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