Salesforce Buys Data Visualization Company Tableau for $15.7B
On the heels of Google buying analytics startup Looker last week for $2.6 billion, Salesforce today announced a huge piece of news in a bid to step up its own work in data visualization and tools to help enterprises make sense of the sea of data that they use and amass: Salesforce is buying Tableau for $15.7 billion in an all-stock deal.
The latter is publicly traded, and this deal will involve shares of Tableau Class A and Class B common stock getting exchanged for 1.103 shares of Salesforce common stock, the company said, and so the $15.7 billion figure is the enterprise value of the transaction, based on the average price of Salesforce’s shares as of June 7, 2019.
This is a significant jump on Tableau’s last market cap ($10.79 billion two days earlier.)
This is a massive deal for Salesforce as it continues to diversify beyond CRM software and into deeper layers of analytics to offer a 360-degree view of the customer and become a de facto data stack for the enterprise.
The company reportedly worked hard to buy LinkedIn but lost out to Microsoft. While there isn’t a whole lot in common between LinkedIn and Tableau, this deal will also help Salesforce extend its engagement (and data intelligence) for the customers that Salesforce already has — something that LinkedIn would have also helped it to do.
Even with Google’s move to buy Looker, one could argue that analytics is a big enough area that all major tech companies are getting their ducks in a row with stronger data analytics strategies and products. It’s unclear whether the two deals were made in response to each other, although it seems that Salesforce has been eyeing Tableau for years.
“We are bringing together the world’s #1 CRM with the #1 analytics platform. Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers. It’s truly the best of both worlds for our customers – bringing together two critical platforms that every customer needs to understand their world,” said Marc Benioff, chairman, and co-CEO of Salesforce. “I’m thrilled to welcome Adam and his team to Salesforce.”
Tableau has about 86,000 business customers, including Charles Schwab, Verizon, Schneider Electric, Southwest and Netflix. Salesforce said Tableau would operate independently and under its own brand post-acquisition. It will also remain headquartered in Seattle, Wash., headed by CEO Adam Selipsky along with others on the current leadership team.
Indeed, later during an analyst conference call, Benioff let it drop that Seattle would become Salesforce’s official second headquarters with the closing of this deal.
That’s not to say, though, that the two will not be working together.
On the contrary, Salesforce is already talking up the possibilities of expanding what the company is already doing with its Einstein platform(launched back in 2016, Einstein is the home of all of Salesforce’s AI-based initiatives.)
“Joining forces with Salesforce will enhance our ability to help people everywhere see and understand data,” said Selipsky. “As part of the world’s #1 CRM company, Tableau’s intuitive and powerful analytics will enable millions of more people to discover actionable insights across their entire organizations. I’m delighted that our companies share very similar cultures and a relentless focus on customer success. I look forward to working together in support of our customers and communities.”
“Salesforce’s incredible success has always been based on anticipating the needs of our customers and providing them the solutions they need to grow their businesses,” said Keith Block, co-CEO, Salesforce. “Data is the foundation of every digital transformation, and the addition of Tableau will accelerate our ability to deliver customer success by enabling a truly unified and powerful view across all of a customer’s data.”