Limeade didn’t have to look very far to make the first acquisition in its nine-year history.
The Bellevue corporate health and wellness startup today is announcing that it has acquired 9slides, a four-year-old online training upstart based just a few miles away in Kirkland.
The two companies have known each other for some time, with 9slides founder Ruchit Garg telling GeekWire that Limeade started out as a customer.
“There is lot of mutual respect for the way we both design around delightful user experiences,” Garg tells GeekWire. “It just makes sense to bring in the 9slides platform under Limeade to deliver a broader vision for happy, engaged and high-performing workforces.”
Limeade plans to keep the 9slides presentation and training product, adding new features and tighter integration over time. The 9slides product eventually will take on the Limeade branding, sold as an add-on product.
Limeade’s software helps corporations and educational organizations improve the health and wellness of workforces, so at first blush the idea of adding 9slides to the mix may seem a bit far-fetched. But Limeade CEO Henry Albrecht said the idea is to offer new services for HR professionals that help improve workforces.
“For us it starts with health and well-being, but in this case extends into many other areas,” said Albrecht. “We can’t wait until Limeade customers instantly earn points and rewards for learning — and proving they learned — everything critical to their and their company’s success.”
For example, he said employees would be able to earn rewards or points for completing quizzes or watching specific multi-media or slide presentations. Those presentations could span health, safety, compliance, or as Albrecht puts its, just about “anything that’s important to build a great company.”
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. And while Garg said that the deal was not a “financial home run,” he said that Limeade is a “great home” for the product and team. Fewer than 10 9slides employees will join Limeade, mostly in product roles.
Garg, a former technical program manager at Microsoft, raised about $1 million in financing from Seattle and San Francisco Bay Area angel investors. Backers included Rudy Gadre, 500 Startups and others.
Limeade, whose more than 100 customers include The Ohio State University, Jamba Juice and Puget Sound Energy, is growing fast. It now employs 150 people, up from just 50 people two years ago. The company scored a $25 million venture round last year.