What implications would a Salesforce acquisition have for VC?
May 07, 2015
Rumors of Salesforce’s potential acquisition have been swirling as of late, with Microsoft seen as chief among potential buyers. Such a deal would have substantial implications for venture capital. As prominent investor Tomasz Tunguz pointed out recently, if Salesforce is bought, it means the number of possible acquirers of “substantial SaaS startups would decline.” He’s right; in an era of sky-high late stage valuations and round sizes, losing even one buyer of heavily capitalized startups—especially one as active as Salesforce—could have an effect on future liquidity.
But Salesforce isn’t just an acquirer—it also is a prime example of a corporation engaging in venture investment. Thus, its possible acquisition also has interesting implications for its current roster of VC investments. We delved into the PitchBook Platform to look at just how many acquisitions and investments Salesforce has completed since 2010:
With 29 VC investments last year alone, and the value of those rounds totaling $1.24 billion, it’s clear that Salesforce’s purchase would remove a fairly active VC at the very least. Meanwhile, the company has completed 26 acquisitions since the start of 2010. The table below of its most notable acquisitions illustrates how it has helped VCs achieved liquidity:
For example, RelateIQ received investments from quite a few prominent VC firms before it was bought last year. Its Series C in early 2014, which rendered a post val of $253 million, included firms like Redpoint Ventures and Felicis Ventures. In short, if Salesforce is bought, it’ll be interesting to see whether any other corporate acquirer with deep pockets will step up to the plate and target VC-backed startups, particularly in the SaaS space, to the same extent.
For more details on each and every Salesforce acquisition and investment, click here to get a free look at the PitchBook Platform.