Xactly Wins Strategic Investment from Salesforce.com

Posted on August 3rd, by thinkstrategies in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Xactly Wins Strategic Investment from Salesforce.com

Although announcements regarding new rounds of funding are relatively commonplace in the tech industry, whenever a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company is able to boast about their latest vote of confidence among investors it is worth noting in these tough economic times.

But, Xactly’s announcement this morning that it had garnered a new round of $12 million in funding was especially newsworthy because it also included a “strategic new investment” by Salesforce.com.

Speculating about who Salesforce.com is going to acquire next has become a popular parlor game in the SaaS industry over the past few years. The company has done an admirable job acquiring a variety of companies which have helped to extend its service delivery capabilities, as well as expand its application functionalities.

Some of its acquisitions, like Jigsaw, have been announced publicly. Others, like GroupSwim, have been done quietly.

While there has been speculation that Salesforce.com will move into a variety of new areas, there have been few instances when it has made strategic investments to stake a claim in a new market segment. The most notable example was its investment in FinancialForce.com last year.

Today’s announcement may be an indication that Salesforce.com is inching into the sales performance management (SPM) business. If this is the case, Xactly is a good candidate because it has seen significant growth over the past year, recently picking up Haliburton and Xerox, among others.  Steve Cakebread, a former senior executive at Salesforce.com, is also a senior business advisor at Xactly.

Whenever Salesforce.com makes an acquisition or strategic investment it runs the risk of stepping on the toes of other AppExchange partners. This investment in Xactly is no exception as it is sure to raise concerns among other Salesforce.com partners in the SPM business, most notably Callidus Software.

(Disclosure: Xactly, Salesforce.com and Callidus Software have been but are not currently THINKstrategies clients.)

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