Salesforce.com buys Clipboard, in exit for ex-Microsoft researcher: Service to shut down June 30

clipboardSalesforce.com has purchased Clipboard, the Seattle startup led by former Microsoft researcher Gary Flake which drew comparisons to Pinterest.

It appears to be more of a talent and technology grab as Clipboard plans to shut down its Web clipping and sharing service on June 20.

gary flake 2

Gary Flake

“We have some bittersweet news. We are extremely happy to announce that salesforce.com has signed an agreement to acquire Clipboard, allowing us to pursue our mission of saving and sharing the Web on a much larger scale,” the company wrote in a message on its site. “But at the same time we’re also sad to see this stage of our adventure come to an end, especially since it means that our relationship with you, our users, will irreversibly change.”

Clipboard attracted an all-star group of backers, but the 5-person startup never saw the usage or lofty valuation of Pinterest. It attracted about 140,000 users who created three million clips.

Its backers included Acequia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Atlas Accelerator, Betaworks, Blake Krikorian, Code Holding, CrunchFund, DFJ, First Round Capital, Founders Co-op, Index Ventures and others.

All Things D pegged the valuation at between $10 million to $20 million. A source close to the situation confirmed to GeekWire that the valuation in the mostly cash deal was in that range.

The Clipboard staffers who stick around will be based in Salesforce.com’s Seattle engineering office, and Flake will be VP of engineering in that office.

Bill Bryant, an investor with DFJ, had this to say:

“It’s a proverbial “great outcome” for the team, founder and investors alike. Although the existing service is being shuttered, I’m confident that we will see the technology and the user experience making its way into a number of Salesforce products – a much wider canvas than Clipboard was able to garner as a consumer startup.  And having Salesforce more invested in Seattle can only be a positive outcome for the entire community.”

More in this blog post from Flake.

Previously on GeekWireStartup Spotlight: Pinterest rival Clipboard looks to make screenshotting a breeze

Follow us @GeekWire.

  • http://eyejot.com/users/davidg davidgeller

    Good for them and Gary. Though, I’m now glad I spent more time with Evernote’s clipping services. It would suck to have invested so much time with a product only to loose it at some point. To Clipboard’s credit, their UI and functionality were superb. But, Evernote has had beat for practical/repeat use. Now it’s largely moot, unless Microsoft pursues a similar product strategy.

  • tooob

    Still very early, but checkout (my pet project) https://tooob.com http://vimeo.com/thetooob/promo

  • http://twitter.com/Seattle_Startup Seattle Startup

    wow…SO many investors…..wonder who made money on this sale

  • http://twitter.com/Seattle_Startup Seattle Startup

    Yo, what??? “It’s a proverbial “great outcome” for the team, founder and investors alike. Although the existing service is being shuttered”

    Seriously?

    Look at the investors:

    Andreessen Horowitz
    Index Ventures
    CrunchFund
    SV Angel
    betaworks
    First Round Capital
    CODE Advisors
    Founder’s Co-op
    Acequia Capital
    Vast Ventures
    Ted Meisel
    Blake Krikorian
    Vivi Nevo
    Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ)

    How on earth did a $12million buyout (reported elsewhere) make EVERYONE have a proverbially great exit?

    • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X

      It was “seed” money which translates to “peanuts” money for VC houses. while John didn’t mentioned it. Clipboard had only raised 2.5m in total. Meaning that at the very very worst, investors got their money back + an interest or a lot more than likely doubled what they invested.
      It is still a spin to call it a “great outcome”, but it was not a loss.
      Personally I am sad because I had started using Clipboad.com regularly.

  • SminTin

    Man it must be nice to have train loads of surplus cash lying around.

    GotDatAnon.tk

  • http://twitter.com/nparekh00 Nikesh Parekh

    Congrats Gary!

  • Hakon Verespej

    Congrats Gary!

  • http://twitter.com/bcrimmins Bob Crimmins

    Huge congrats to Gary, Shalendra and the rest of the Clipboard team. Creating value for customers is a hard thing to do… creating value for a team and for investors is magnitudes more difficult. Clipboard did it all and that’s awesome.

  • jchico

    Congrats to Clipboard team. We at Etceter have developed an import tool so CLipboard users can import their data into Etceter through etceter.com/clipboard