KANA Software sharpening M&A blade, acquires Ciboodle

Contact: Thejeswi Venkatesh, Ben Kolada

Since being taken private by Accel-KKR in early 2010, KANA Software has revved its M&A engine. On Tuesday, KANA announced its fourth acquisition since its take-private, picking up call-center software veteran Ciboodle from Sword Group to bolster its agent desktop, business process management and social CRM capabilities. The Ciboodle buy is KANA’s latest deal as it inorganically moves to become a more robust platform for customer-centric support processes across channels and devices.

KANA’s acquisitions have focused on adding social capabilities to its platform and better serving the SMB market. In April 2011, the company bought social media monitoring company Overtone. KANA then integrated the target’s social analytics and infused key areas of its core platform with its own social CRM capabilities, resulting in a simple-to-use tool for support agents to identify issues or receive service requests via popular social networks. Last April, in an attempt to better serve the midmarket, KANA added more cloud clout by reaching for Trinicom. Arma Partners, which advised KANA on its acquisition of Lagan Technologies in October 2010, advised the company again on the Ciboodle purchase. We’ll have a longer report on KANA’s Ciboodle buy in tonight’s Daily 451.

KANA M&A since its take-private by Accel-KKR

Date announced Target Target abstract
July 10, 2012 Ciboodle Call-center software provider
April 24, 2012 Trinicom Customer service automation SaaS
April 5, 2011 Overtone Social media monitoring SaaS
October 6, 2010 Lagan Technologies Call-center software provider

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase

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Social software M&A on the uptick in 2011

Contact: Brian Satterfield

As more businesses leverage social networking websites for marketing and customer support purposes, many big-name buyers are finding social media software vendors to be increasingly attractive targets. The number of deals in the sector rose more than 150% in 2011 from 2010, while spending during that same period soared more than five-fold from $75m to $389m.

The bulk of 2011 social software spending came in March, when salesforce.com forked over $326m for Radian6, a Canadian startup that had raised just $6m. Radian6 was both the CRM giant’s largest deal as well as the priciest transaction ever in the sector. Salesforce.com bought Radian6 in order to add social media monitoring features to a number of products in its portfolio. On a smaller scale, we saw similar purchases around that same time by Meltwater Group, which added JitterJam for $6m, and call-center software maker KANA Software, which reached for Overtone.

But enterprise software providers aren’t the only takers in the social software world. Many tech companies that have partial or completely social business models got in on the action, presumably in order to track activity on their own networks. Twitter, for instance, picked up social media monitoring software maker BackType, while Google bought a similar company called PostRank.