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The Vendorhawk team. (Vendorhawk photo)
The Vendorhawk team. (Vendorhawk photo)

ServiceNow has acquired Seattle’s VendorHawk, a recent TechStars Seattle graduate, for an undisclosed amount in order to add cloud software cost-management features to its broader portfolio of IT management services.

The all-cash deal, announced just ahead of ServiceNow’s first-quarter earnings, will allow ServiceNow to “help customers drive digital transformation by providing transparency into software license utilization and costs,” it said in a press release.

It marks a quick exit for VendorHawk, which was originally started by former PayScale employee Patrick Lowndes and former Microsoft and GoDaddy software engineer Brian Geihsler as a side project.

The VendorHawk team in 2017: Brian Geihsler, Patrick Lowndes, and Ben Stephens. (VendorHawk Photo)

“Companies buy a lot of software they don’t end up using,” Lowndes told GeekWire in an interview last year.  “We help companies use what they bought, save money where possible, and plan smarter for the future.”

Farrell Hough, general manager for ServiceNow, noted in a blog post discussing the deal that VendorHawk marks a way to solve a nagging problem.

“SaaS subscriptions can sprawl rapidly at companies, often bypassing IT,” Hough wrote. “As a result, companies are often unable to identify which apps exist and how much is being spent on them.”

ServiceNow, founded in 2004, has grown into a sizable tech management services company, allowing customers to manage their data centers, provide help desk services to their employees, and measure business performance across a number of different fronts.

VendorHawk closed a $1.2 million seed round last June led by iNovia Capital after graduating from TechStars Seattle’s 2017 class. Other investors include Social Starts, Telos Ventures, Curious Capital, Alliance of Angels and serial entrepreneur T.A. McCann, who was in the news today after taking on a new role at Pioneer Square Labs. The company employed seven people at the time of last summer’s funding round.

It has been working on a SaaS dashboard for customers that lets them track how much they are spending across various cloud services, which can be quite helpful for companies with an experimental development culture that are always trying the latest and greatest thing.

Asked why they sold to ServiceNow rather than building out the product offering, Lowndes told GeekWire that it was a logical next step.

“After thinking hard about how to build towards our broader goals of reaching beyond just SaaS Vendor Management, it was an obvious decision to join ServiceNow and immediately have the scale which supports both traditional Software Asset Management, but also helps customers with a broader set of vendor and asset management functions like hardware, contracts, and procurement,” Lowndes said. “This is what our customers have always wanted. One platform to solve many of their challenges.”

ServiceNow already employs more than 200 people at offices at Carillon Point in Kirkland, Washington, and the company plans to continue to grow in the region.

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