Microsoft today announced plans to acquire Xamarin, a San Francisco-based startup that lets developers build applications for a variety of different platforms using Microsoft’s C# programming language. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2012, Xamarin had raised $82 million over the past four years to build software that lets developers use one code base to build for a variety of platforms including iOS, Android, and others.
Seattle-based Ignition Partners has been a longtime investor in Xamarin, and Ignition managing partners Frank Artale and John Connors (the former Microsoft chief financial officer) have worked extensively with the company. Connors said via email that the deal gives Microsoft “a unique and talented team with runway to contribute at senior levels,” and makes the Redmond company “the leader in multi-platform mobile enterprise development.”
“This enables developers to easily share common app code across their iOS, Android and Windows apps while still delivering fully native experiences for each of the platforms,” Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie wrote in a blog post.
The acquisition comes as Microsoft has shifted its strategy over the past few years to be more inclusive of other platforms it doesn’t control. In an interview with GeekWire in 2014, Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman said that cross-platform development capability will be key to Microsoft’s continued success.
“If they want to own the hearts and minds of all developers, they have to get to all devices,” he said.
Guthrie noted that Xamarin has more than 15,000 customers in 120 countries, working with companies like Alaska Airlines, Honeywell, and SuperGiant Games.
“We have had a longstanding partnership with Xamarin, and have jointly built Xamarin integration into Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and the Enterprise Mobility Suite to provide developers with an end-to-end workflow for native, secure apps across platforms,” added Guthrie. “We have also worked closely together to offer the training, tools, services and workflows developers need to succeed. With today’s acquisition announcement we will be taking this work much further to make our world class developer tools and services even better with deeper integration and seamless mobile app dev experiences.”
Xamarin employs more than 350 people and has “tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue,” Friedman noted in a blog post today.
“This acquisition is a new beginning for Xamarin — the company and its products — and is an opportunity to help many, many more developers build great apps,” he wrote. “Like many of you, I see Microsoft and Xamarin as a perfect fit. Microsoft’s mobile-first, cloud-first strategy is a great match for the Xamarin products and team.”
Ignition’s Artale called Xamarin “a huge success” as measured by its daily usage by thousands of software developers around the world.
“With it they build great mobile applications using the tools they know and love already for any mobile platform,” Artale told GeekWire via email. “The broad adoption in a short period of time should be the envy of any software company. With this acquisition, Microsoft is not only acknowledging that the software world is now mobile first but has put itself in the leading position as the supplier of this critical enabling technology to all software developers targeting any mobile platform.”