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September 01, 2016

Salesforce spent $110 million for a startup that was reportedly last valued at $28 million (Interesting information for Call Center Software Companies)

Salesforce says it spent $110 million to buy BeyondCore, the data analytics startup it acquired last month, according to the 10-Q filed Thursday.

The acquisition was announced in August but the financial details of the deal were not disclosed previously. The total cost of the deal is likely more than $110 million since it doesn't include the cost of equity subject to a vesting period, the filing said.

Not much is known about BeyondCore aside from the fact that it's a data analytics startup founded 12 years ago by former Oracle product manager Arijit Sengupta.

But according to Pitchbook, BeyondCore was last valued at $28.5 million after raising $9 million in a Series A funding in 2014 - its first and only meaningful fund-raiser to date. It's also a relatively small company with only 29 employees as of end of 2015.

Salesforce describes BeyondCore as a "smart data discovery" company that automatically goes through tons of data to perform business analytics (including for companies with call center software). The acquisition is one of the many startups Salesforce bought in the machine learning and artificial intelligence space over the past year, including MetaMind and PredictionIO.

In fact, during Wednesday's earnings call, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff noted that Salesforce has put together a machine-learning team of more than 175 data scientists through the recent acquisitions, resulting in its latest product "Einstein," which will be revealed at its upcoming annual conference, Dreamforce.

Call center companies find it interesting to note that Salesforce has been scooping up companies at an unprecedented rate, spending roughly $4 billion on acquisitions this year alone. Benioff explained during the earnings call that M&A wasn't part of the company's plan at the start of the year, but it only accelerated because of the change in market conditions.

"We came into this year and we didn't really have M&A on our forecast. But then there were some pretty big changes that happened in the market ... It's been an incredible time for us to acquire some phenomenal assets, and I've never been more excited about Salesforce and our pipeline," he said.