‘acq-hires’ Microsoft talent by acquiring Thinkfuse

Contact: Ben Kolada

Taking a page from the playbooks of Google and Facebook, is ‘acq-hiring’ Microsoft-nurtured talent. The CRM giant announced on Tuesday the tiny acquisition of team collaboration SaaS startup Thinkfuse. The target immediately ceased operations and terminated its service, suggesting this was more of an acq-hire than anything else. Through the deal, gets its hands on about five employees, three of whom have had software engineering experience at Microsoft, according to their LinkedIn profiles.

Although three of the four acquisitions has announced this year (including Thinkfuse) have been tiny transactions, this small trend likely doesn’t represent a shift in M&A strategy. The company has a history of buying young firms, primarily for technology tuck-ins. According to The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase, the average time from when a company was founded to when it sold to is just under four years. What’s also notable, though, is that’s last team collaboration acquisition – Stypi, announced in May – was also a small acq-hire. However, the Stypi service is being maintained, at least for now.

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