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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

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