Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Salesforce.com Quietly Bought an Israeli Start-Up Called BlueTail in July

Salesforce.com’s acquisition streak over the summer included companies large and small, some you’ve heard of and some you haven’t.

On the big side, there was the $750 million deal for Buddy Media, which Salesforce announced in June after word of a pending deal first leaked in May. Then, in July, it dropped $76 million on the co-browsing start-up GoInstant.

But its tastes also run toward the very small. Example: Salesforce recently acquired an Israeli data-mining start-up called BlueTail. BlueTail’s founder and CTO has been made chief data scientist at Data.com, a Salesforce unit. Indeed, the deal has all the markings of a classic “acqhire” situation. A Salesforce spokeswoman confirmed the acquisition to AllThingsD on Monday.

The giveaway clue was a batch of LinkedIn profiles belonging to former BlueTail employees who have since updated their information indicating that they now work for Salesforce. Data.com’s new chief data scientist is Alon Talmor. He and co-founder and CEO Koby Ben-Zvi have both changed their LinkedIn profiles in recent days to reflect new senior positions within Salesforce.com. In Ben-Zvi’s case, his new title is vice president for product strategy at Data.com.

At least three other people who list prior positions at Tel Aviv-based BlueTail have also updated their LinkedIn profiles with new jobs at Salesforce: Amir Cohen, Yaniv Zecharya and Elad Tsur, who also lists himself as a founder of BlueTail. Not much is known about BlueTail specifically, other than it was previously known as Mined Analytics and was founded in 2009.

Salesforce hasn’t sought to keep the acquisition a total secret. Nathan Crystal, a Salesforce VP for business development in Israel, appears to have made reference to the acquisition in remarks at a Salesforce conference in Israel, covered by a local tech publication. See a translation from the Hebrew here.


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