from the July 2011 issue

Jive Software buys OffiSync, its biggest acquisition yet

Jive Software announced its third acquisition in 18 months Monday -- and its biggest to date -- buying an interactive technology company called OffiSync Corp.

It's the latest social media deal in technology's hottest sector.

OffiSync integrates Microsoft products -- including Office, Outlook and SharePoint -- with other online tools, including Jive's business collaboration software.

Formally headquartered in Seattle, most of OffiSync's employees are in Israel. It's already got a robust presence in the Google Apps store, where users connect their Gmail account and Google Docs files with their Microsoft equivalents.

Jive is a California-based company that moved its headquarters from downtown Portland to Palo Alto last year. About 170 of Jive's 370 employees still work in Oregon, including some members of its executive team.

"We think it's a way to reach a whole set of people who haven't had the chance to get social on their desktop," LeBlanc said.

OffiSync's tools enable Jive's customers to move Outlook e-mails into a discussion inside Jive's software, for example, or to collaboratively edit a Microsoft Word document.

Israeli media reported OffiSync's sale price was around $30 million. LeBlanc declined to comment on those reports, but confirmed that this is Jive's largest purchase.

Social media is this moment's It Technology. Last week, online resume hub LinkedIn turned heads across Wall Street with an unexpectedly lucrative initial public offering. Its share price doubled within hours of its IPO, fanning enthusiasm for social networking just as an economic revival loosens corporate and investor purse strings.

Jive hopes to make its software a portal for all manner of intra-business communication, using tools similar to Facebook and Twitter to keep employees current and help them work together.

Jive will retain OffiSync's dozen employees, most of who work in Tel Aviv. But LeBlanc said OffiSync chief executive Oudi Antebi lives in Seattle, and will now work primarily out of Jive's Palo Alto office. Antebi spent eight years at Microsoft, where he worked in its Office and SharePoint divisions.

Jive is among the best-funded startups to emerge from Portland in many years. It's raised $57 million in venture capital from top-shelf Silicon Valley firms Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Jive has been using that capital to expand its technology. It bought a Colorado social media monitoring company called Filterbox early last year, and acquired a California data analysis startup called Proximal Labs last month.

Although OffiSync has an established customer base, LeBlanc said Jive was primarily interested in hiring OffiSync's engineering team and integrating Microsoft's pervasive software into Jive's social products.

"It's a shift from personal productivity to group collaboration," he said.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report July 2011

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