After almost ten years as a corporation, SocialText is being reinvented. It was recently announced that the technology investment fund Bedford Funding is buying Socialtext. As a result, the social collaboration software company will become a part of the Peoplefluent family of products, known for its talent management, vendor management and workforce compliance and diversity solutions.
A Billion-Dollar Infusion
The purchase is being called a “strategic investment” to the tune of US$ 1.4 billion, but it’s a true acquisition. This investment will provide an infusion of capital to Socialtext, which will fuel its future growth and propel the company’s existing strategy, offerings and services.
Eugene Lee will remain Socialtext’s CEO and Peoplefluent plans to integrate Socialtext’s enterprise social collaboration software into its talent management suite to provide customers a better way to share knowledge, experiences and ideas to inform best thinking inside their organizations. As well, Socialtext will continue to operate under the Socialtext name and its employees, and keep its existing customers.
Peoplefluent isn’t a stranger to buying other companies -- in fact, it’s the product of a series of acquisitions, including Peopleclick and Authoria in talent management and, more recently, Strategia for online training. The business was recently renamed Peoplefluent when it began investing in extensions for mobile users.
So why SocialText? The folks at Bedford Funding claim that SocialText would help it better solidify its leadership position in the enterprise social software space. After all, enterprise social networking has grown exponentially over the past decade, according to Forrester Research. The market for enterprise social software products is estimated to grow at an annual compound rate of 61% over the next five years, with the market surpassing US$ 6.4 billion by 2016.
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss
Other than a cash infusion and new owners, it doesn’t look like much else will change at SocialText. While Socialtext created its niche as independent company with as an easy-to-implement solution for small to midsize businesses, its new role may be shifting to accommodate and serve the needs of a much larger industry.