Salesforce to Acquire GoInstant, Puts Big Resources Behind Co-Browsing Platform

Today GoInstant revealed on its official company blog that, as had been reported earlier in the day by the Wall Street Journal (though not officially confirmed), it will be acquired by Salesforce.com. Salesforce.com is among the largest enterprise cloud computing providers, and GoInstant’s tech, which lets users browse the web with other users via a simple URL with no downloads, is a natural fit for its customer-facing offerings.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed by GoInstant in their blog post, but the WSJ reported it to be a deal worth more than $70 million (AllThingsD reported $76 million). In their co-authored blog post, founders Jevon MacDonald and Gavin Uhma shared that Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff has been one of the startup’s key “champions,” and also that the team will continue to “advance [their] technology,” as well as “super charge our ability to deliver a truly amazing way for companies to engage and interact with consumers in real time.”

Judging by the wording, Salesforce.com will continue to offer GoInstant’s product, and help it reach new audiences. “The GoInstant team has built incredibly sophisticated technology,” said Parker Harris, co-founder of Salesforce in a quote from GoInstant’s blog post. “We will help them scale and grow so that social enterprises everywhere can engage with and delight customers in totally new ways.” The two GoInstant coffounders also shared that they intend to “advance our core technologies and pursue our vision of a shared web experience at salesforce.com.”

GoInstant was founded in 2010, and managed to raise $1.7 million in seed funding in September of 2011 when it officially launched. It’s a natural fit for Salesforce.com. Robert Scoble said in a Cinch recording about the startup at the time that “It is one of those companies, when you see it, you say wow that is so cool. It should be bought by Facebook or Salesforce.”

GoInstant faced competition from others including Screenleap and Join.me, which provide one-click screensharing. Those other companies don’t focus specifically on co-browsing, allowing users to share their desktops, too, but they can be used for similar purposes. Salesforce’s resources could potentially make it difficult for other startups in this space to compete, especially since so many companies who would potentially benefit from the kind of super-simple support services GoInstant can facilitate between customer-facing staff and their users.

Requests for comment from the GoInstant team weren’t returned by publication time.

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