Callidus learns to love Litmos

Contact: Brenon Daly

Continuing to broaden its portfolio beyond its core commission-calculation offering, Callidus Software recently reached across the Pacific Ocean to snag early-stage learning management system (LMS) vendor Litmos. Based in New Zealand, Litmos had yet to raise any outside capital but had nonetheless drawn in more than 150 customers, which likely put revenue in the mid-single digits of millions of dollars. The acquisition should help Callidus in two main areas: in-application training and mobile learning.

In that way, Callidus’ move is unlike many of the other noteworthy deals over the past year in the LMS market, which has been dominated by talent management providers buying their way into the training and education space. Last September, for instance, Taleo picked up longtime partner for $125m, while in April rival SuccessFactors paid $290m for Plateau Systems. Over the past year, we’ve tallied more than $1.8bn worth of spending on LMS deals.

Undoubtedly, the acquisition of Litmos won’t add much to the total spending in the sector. But the transaction is nonetheless significant for Callidus, particularly as more and more sales activity is done in the field. (Litmos can be used not only to update sales records and provide onsite sales coaching, but also to give training courses.) And Callidus may not be done buying. The company recently netted about $60m through a convertible offering, and we understand that it may well put some of those proceeds to work on another purchase in the next month or so