Salesforce has agreed to acquire word processing app Quip in a $582 million deal that continues its shift away from its roots in customer relationship management software.
Quip, a startup co-founded in 2012 by former Facebook Chief Technology Officer Bret Taylor, offers software for collaborating on documents that competes with Google Docs and Microsoft Word. It launched as a mobile-only app but now has a desktop and web version.
Salesforce previously invested in Quip through its venture fund, Salesforce Ventures. The value of the deal announced Monday in a regulatory filing does not include consideration attributable to that investment.
“We’re inspired by the possibilities ahead of us,” Taylor and Quip’s other co-founder, Kevin Gibbs, said in a blog post. “As part of Salesforce, we will be able to expand our service more quickly and reach millions of people all over the world.”
They added that Salesforce and Quip “share the same philosophy about software: it should be in the cloud, built for the mobile era, and be inherently social.”
As TechCrunch reports, Salesforce has been on “a buying spree to expand the kinds of cloud-based apps and services that it offers to its customers beyond basic CRM.” It recently agreed to acquire Demandware Inc. for $2.8 billion and data center optimization startup Coolan for an undisclosed sum, but lost a bidding war for LinkedIn to Microsoft.
“While Salesforce and Microsoft sometimes work together, they also compete, and adding Quip into the mix at Salesforce could one way for Salesforce to do that better (and counterbalance the fact that Microsoft is building and acquiring more products that compete with Salesforce on the CRM front),” TechCrunch said.
Quip is hoping to cash in on the trend of people increasingly using mobile for a wide range of work formally done on desktop computers. Its customers include Facebook, Electronic Arts, CNN, and New Relic, and it has raised $45 million in venture capital.
“The idea is to make it easier to edit and comment from a mobile phone or tablet,” Fortune said.