Citrix consolidates collaboration

Contact: Ben KoladaThejeswi Venkatesh

In its third collaboration deal in the past 18 months, Citrix Systems said Wednesday that it will acquire small Copenhagen-based startup Podio. The target provides team collaboration SaaS for SMBs, apparently mostly through a ‘freemium’ model. Its product is used for project management, social information sharing, sales lead management and employee recruitment management. It also provides related Apple iPhone and Google Android applications. But Citrix isn’t the only company consolidating in the collaboration market – its Podio buy comes at a time of record interest in this sector.

While there are many collaboration vendors in the market, Podio has a different approach – it enables users to create their own applications to carry out specific tasks. This allows teams to tweak the platform to cater to their specific needs. Citrix will integrate Podio into its GoTo cloud services suite, making it easy for existing customers to adopt the platform. Podio already integrates with Dropbox, Google Docs and Box.

Citrix isn’t disclosing terms of the acquisition, but we suspect that the three-year-old firm probably generated less than $5m in revenue. Podio claims tens of thousands of customers in 170 different countries, but the majority of them are likely only using its free product. If our revenue assumption is correct, then this deal should be considered more of ‘tech and talent’ play than anything else. Citrix traditionally pays above-average valuations, but we doubt that it paid more for Podio than the $54.2m it forked over in its last collaboration acquisition – ShareFile. The 27-employee firm had raised a total of $4.6m from Sunstone Capital, CEO Tommy Ahlers and private investors Thomas Madsen-Mygdal and Ulrik Jensen.

Beyond Citrix’s recent consolidation, the collaboration market is seeing increasing interest overall. The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase shows 79 collaboration acquisitions in 2011 – nearly double the volume in 2010 and an all-time record. Throughout the collaboration sector, some of the most notable transactions since the beginning of 2011 include Yammer buying oneDrum (announced just today), reaching for Manymoon and Dimdim, Citrix competitor VMware acquiring Socialcast and SlideRocket, and Jive Software picking up OffiSync (click on the links for disclosed and estimated valuations). Jive itself made its own splash in social collaboration when it went public in December. The company hit the Nasdaq at $850m and has since seen its market cap balloon to nearly $1.6bn, or 14 times projected 2012 revenue.

Citrix’s collaboration acquisitions

Date announced Target Collaboration sector Deal value
April 11, 2012 Podio Team collaboration Not disclosed
October 13, 2011 Novel Labs (aka ShareFile) File sharing & team collaboration $54.2m
December 17, 2010 Netviewer AG Web conferencing $115m

Source: 451 Research M&A KnowledgeBase; Click on the links for disclosed and estimated valuations

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More than just Chatter at

Contact: Ben Kolada, Kathleen Reidy

Fresh from closing its $249m acquisition of Ruby developer Heroku, recently announced, and closed, its purchase of Web-conferencing startup Dimdim for $31m. The Lowell, Massachusetts-based target provided a cloud-based open source Web-conferencing service for businesses, and with this deal now claims 60,000 Chatter users, though with its ‘freemium’ model we suspect that only a fraction of these are paying customers. paid $31m in cash for Dimdim, which had raised a total of $8.4m from venture investors Draper Richards, Index Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners. Per’s conference call, Dimdim has 75 employees spread throughout its offices in Lowell and Hyderabad, India. Although the target’s annual revenue wasn’t disclosed, we estimate that it closed 2010 with about $2m in revenue.

Like’s previous collaboration pickup – GroupSwim, in December 2009 – Dimdim’s services will be shut down, and its capabilities will be rolled into Chatter,’s social collaboration software service that first launched in 2009. As my colleague Kathleen Reidy notes (click here to see her full report on the acquisition), as evidenced by the almost immediate shutdown of the Dimdim service, isn’t interested in the pure Web-conferencing market. will honor contracts with Dimdim’s existing customers, though these will not be eligible for renewal, and it has terminated Dimdim’s free service. Dimdim also had an open source distribution and while this is still available, it won’t see any further updates. Instead, Dimdim will provide features to Chatter, which is also incorporating semantic analysis technology from GroupSwim.