Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Salesforce Buys Small Contact Management Start-Up Etacts

Salesforce has bought Etacts, maker of a contacts management tool, according to a source familiar with the matter. Etacts informed users today that it will shut down as of January 31 in order to “pursue other opportunities.”

Etacts, which participated in the Y Combinator program earlier this year, offered a free Web app and plug-ins that helped Gmail and IMAP users manage their email relationships by showing information about their contacts’ social Web activity and communication history.

The start-up, co-founded by recent Duke grads Howie Liu and Evan Beard, had raised $650,000 in funding from Ron Conway of SV Angels, Eric Hahn of Inventures Group, Jim Young from Hot or Not, Lorenzo Thione and Barney Pell from Powerset, Joshua Schachter from Delicious, and YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim. And I believe Ashton Kutcher was involved as well.

Etacts will no longer accept user sign-ups as of today and will delete all user data effective January 31, it said in an email sent to users.

Etacts’s product was quite similar to that of another Y Combinator company, Rapportive. Salesforce also just bought another YC company this month, Heroku, for $212 million in cash.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work