Informatica parlays MDM bets

Contact: Brenon Daly

Informatica’s purchase of Siperian at the end of January marked the data-integration vendor’s first acquisition of a master data management (MDM) company. However, it wasn’t the first time Informatica has put money into the sector. The company held small stakes of both Purisma, which sold to Dun & Bradstreet for $48m in November 2007, and Initiate Systems, which IBM snared last week for what we heard was $425m. Both investments were tiny, with one source indicating that Informatica put less than $1m into Purisma and less than $5m into Initiate.

Though small, the investments certainly paid off for Informatica, coming at a time when most fulltime VCs are struggling to generate any returns. (Never mind the rather dismal, start-and-stop performance of nearly all other corporate venture programs.) We understand, for instance, that Informatica doubled its money on Initiate in less than a year and a half. Who knows, maybe the company just rolled over the proceeds from the sales of both MDM investments (Purisma and Initiate) into an MDM deal of its own. After all, Siperian was the largest buy that Informatica has ever made.