Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Yammer Makes Its First Acquisition: OneDrum

A little more than a month ago, the social enterprise and collaboration start-up Yammer raised an impressive $85 million funding round at an implied valuation somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 billion or maybe a little lower.

One of the things the company signaled it was going to do with that money was make acquisitions. Today it announced its first: OneDrum, a British start-up that specializes in making Microsoft Office a lot more collaborative.

Financial terms aren’t being disclosed, and OneDrum is a pretty early-stage company with 10 employees and combined $2 million in capital raised, mainly from angels and Amadeus Capital Partners, a British VC firm. But, the deal is invariably going to be compared to a similar one announced last year by Yammer rival Jive for OfficSync.

I talked to Yammer CEO David Sacks about the deal earlier today and I asked him about the comparison. He said that one thing OneDrum does that OfficSync does not is a level of desktop synchronization that’s comparable in some ways with what you find with something like DropBox. And, it does so without the need for a plugin that might, he argues, mess up how Office runs and which can be difficult to deploy across an enterprise.

Basically, Yammer customers will be able to share and see the contents of the folders they share with other people via Yammer. Also, people can collaborate on Office documents live. Changes are tracked within the Yammer news feed and revisions are stored. Once you drag a document into your Yammer folders, the contents are instantly text searchable from within Yammer.

What OneDrum lacked, Sacks told me, was “a good front end to express the OneDrum technology,” which Yammer will readily provide.

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