The Cloud

Salesforce Buys Enterprise Software Startup

The $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft gives Salesforce a platform for integrating business apps, databases, and corporate IT infrastructure.
Matthew HellerMarch 20, 2018

Salesforce on Tuesday continued to diversify beyond its core sales software business by agreeing to buy enterprise software company MuleSoft in its largest acquisition ever.

The deal, which has an enterprise value of $6.5 billion, will bring MuleSoft’s platform for building enterprise-wide application networks into the Salesforce Integration Cloud, a service that allows customers to more easily access corporate data wherever it may be stored.

“This is particularly important for Salesforce, which tends to come in and work with a company across enterprise systems,” TechCrunch reported. “As it builds out its artificial intelligence and machine learning layer, which it has branded as Einstein, it needs access to data across the company. A company like MuleSoft gives them that.”

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MuleSoft’s technology links business apps, databases, and corporate IT infrastructure into a unified system. It has more than 1,200 customers including Coca-Cola, Barclays, and Anheuser-Busch.

Salesforce said it would pay $36.00 in cash and 0.0711 shares of Salesforce common stock for each MuleSoft share. At a total value of $44.69 per share, the deal gives MuleSoft shareholders a premium of 36% to Monday’s closing price.

“Together, Salesforce and MuleSoft will enable customers to connect all of the information throughout their enterprise across all public and private clouds and data sources — radically enhancing innovation,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a news release.

Salesforce’s largest acquisition had been its $2.8 billion purchase of Demandware in July 2016. It also recently paid $750 million for the maker of the collaborative tool Quip in another move to boost its enterprise productivity business.

“They have to integrate, orchestrate, and manage microservices in their future roadmap,” Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, told TechCrunch. “The AI-driven world ahead needs contextual microservices.”

MuleSoft, which went public a year ago, reported fourth-quarter sales of $88.7 million in sales, up 60% from the previous year. Its operating loss almost doubled to $25.5 million.

“With the full power of Salesforce behind us, we have a tremendous opportunity to realize our vision of the application network even faster and at scale,” MuleSoft CEO Greg Schott said.