SugarCRM, a CRM and open source rival to Salesforce, has made an acquisition to help the company raise its game on the mobile front. It has acquired and is shutting down Stitch, a startup co-founded by ex-Salesforce execs that created a mobile-first platform and iOS app for salespeople to proactively follow and close deals.
SugarCRM has confirmed the acquisition of IP and other assets, noting that it will be rolling Stitch’s technology into its core Sugar application. “We’ve made Sugar an indispensable tool for customer-facing employees,” said Larry Augustin, SugarCRM CEO, in a statement issued Monday. “Sugar gives them the right information, when they need it, even before they ask. Incorporating Stitch will make Sugar an even smarter, better-informed customer relationship management system, and put information at mobile users’ fingertips no matter where they are.”
It is not disclosing the price, and this looks like it may only be the second-ever acquisition disclosed by the company (the first was of iExtensions, a Lotus Notes CRM extension, to deepen its ties to IBM).
Before SugarCRM confirmed the acquisition, Stitch issued a notice last week to its customers informing them that service was being shut down “in its current form” on March 6. That notice was forwarded to us (and, it seems, others, too). While that note (embedded below) said nothing about a sale, but our tipsters named SugarCRM as the buyer. A person close to the deal confirmed the buyer along with several other details to us.
This is a talent and technology acquisition. Most of the Stitch team will be joining SugarCRM, with Stitch’s San Francisco office becoming SugarCRM’s city office (the company mainly operates out of its HQ in Cupertino). Among the moves, Somrat Niyogi — the CEO who co-founded the company with Jason McDowall and Wiebke Poerschke — will join SugarCRM as an advisor.
The acquisition is interesting, given Salesforce’s acquisition last year of RelateIQ for just under $400 million. Like RelateIQ and others in the space like Clari, the idea behind Stitch is not only to intelligently group, sift through and provide analytics on email and other cloud-based documents to make them more useful for salespeople on the move, but it’s also trying to apply big data and intelligent algorithms to surface better sales opportunities for its users.
The fact that there are a number of other players in this space — and there is some consolidation afoot — are two potential signs for why Stitch decided to sell up to a bigger company rather than continue to grow on its own.
For SugarCRM, the company has been providing its customers with a mobile app since 2013, but with largely limited functionality focused primarily around users being able to access their existing databases.
Adding in the kind of technology that Stitch has been developing could help supercharge that. And it also fits in with a wider strategy at SugarCRM, which was originally built around open source software but continues to look for ways to commercialise its services. The company was reportedly eyeing up an IPO in 2013 but instead raised $40 million that year from Goldman Sachs. (It’s raised over $100 million to date.)
We haven’t been able to nail down a price yet, but “the investors were happy” from what we’ve been told.
Stitch had raised $3.3 million since being founded in 2013, including $3.25 million from a large group of investors that included Google Ventures, SoftTech, Freestyle Capital, Foundation Capital, ENIAC Ventures and angels such as Brad Garlinghouse, Tom Conrad, and Eric Hahn.
It’s not clear how many customers are being affected by the news. Stitch’s site lists several reference customers including Ginger.io, Zoom and Xero.
Notice to customers follows below.
We will be discontinuing the Stitch service in its current form on Friday, March 6. Read on for more details.Two years ago we set out to reimagine the way salespeople get work done.
We believed there is an incredible amount of unlocked potential among the data in email, calendar, CRM, and other sources to help salespeople and their companies.Along the way we built a powerful mobile email application for iOS and a smart sales assistant for iOS and desktop via a Chrome plugin.
The smart sales assistant collected and processed data from multiple sources and generated personalized suggestions.
Users were prompted to re-engage with the right contacts at the right time or update the relationship in CRM in a very simplified and efficient way.
THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT
We’re proud of the products and technologies we built. And we’re grateful for your support. At every turn, your feedback helped to shape the development of Stitch, and we could not have done this without you. Thank you for making Stitch part of your daily workflow.
However, today, we are at the end of this chapter for Stitch. We believe strongly in our vision for our product, but we know we need more resources to fully execute on our vision. We can do more with more resources and data, and ultimately we can help more people work smarter in areas beyond sales. Intelligent software is the future — more automation, more productivity, more results.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE STITCH APP?
We will be discontinuing the Stitch App in its current form as of Friday, March 6, 2015. What this means is that you will no longer receive or be able to take actions on suggestions (although some calendar-based suggestions and email features may continue to work).
WHAT ABOUT THE STITCH TEAM AND THE FUTURE OF THE INTELLIGENT SALES ASSISTANT?
Our team and technology will live on in new forms. We are excited and determined to continue to apply intelligence at the intersection of CRM, email and calendar data to help shape the future of customer relationship management. Stay tuned for more details in the coming days.
Thank you again for your support of Stitch. It has been a privilege, and we look forward to meeting again.
~Somrat, Jason, Wiebke, and the Stitch Team
Updated with confirmation from SugarCRM.