Arik Hesseldahl

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Jive Acquires OffiSync, Socializes Microsoft Office and Outlook

Social enterprise software start-up Jive Software is looking a lot less like a start-up by the day. Today it made its third acquisition in 18 months, nabbing OffiSync, the Seattle-based company that makes social extensions for Microsoft Office.

Jive CEO Tony Zingale told me that Jive has been working closely with OfficSync for some time. Office workers spend so much of their time working on documents in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel that it’s a logical place to add the kind of collaboration tools that are the cornerstone of what the social enterprise is all about. “We’ve built deep integration that brings Jive and Office close together,” Zingale said.

The next move, Zingale said, which will come in the third quarter of the year, will be to use OffiSync’s technology to link Jive with that other foundation of office life, Microsoft Outlook. “Email is the place where so much content is created and stored, it is the collaboration system,” he said.

Zingale wouldn’t disclose financial terms of the deal, though he did say that OfficSync is being bought out completely. It was founded by two Israeli brothers, Oudi and Roy Antebi, both Microsoft veterans. Oudi, the CEO, ran marketing campaigns for Microsoft Office and Sharepoint, both in Israel and then at headquarters in Redmond. Roy, the CTO, lead a development team in the Microsoft SQL Server division.

OfficSync is backed by investments from GTD Capital, a Seattle-based venture capital firm, and Vertex VC, an Israeli fund.

Its also Jive’s second acquisition in as many moths. In April it acquired Proximal Labs as it was just getting out of the gate itself. And in March it sent a pretty strong signal about its intentions toward going public sooner rather than later when it added four directors, all of them with public company experience.

I asked Zingale if last week’s IPO by LinkedIn had caused him to consider quickening his pace toward filing an S1 with the SEC. “Obviously we were very interested observers,” Zingale said. “Clearly we’re very riveted by the benefits of being a public company, but I can’t say anything specific about our plans.”

Jive has something important in common with LinkedIn. One of its investors is Sequoia Capital which has invested a combined $27 million, leading a Series A funding round in 2007 and a Series B in 2009. Kleiner Perkins got in on the action leading a $30 million Series C last year.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald