In a post market-closing announcement yesterday March 20, 2018, MuleSoft and Salesforce jointly announced Salesforce’s intent to acquire MuleSoft in a deal worth approximately $6.5 billion. The announcement comes almost exactly one year after MuleSoft went public on the New York Stock Exchange (disclosure: ProgrammableWeb is a wholly owned subsidiary of MuleSoft).
Once the deal closes, it will be the latest in a string of acquisitions involving companies whose product portfolios include, but are not necessarily limited to API management. That string most recently included Oracle’s acquisition of Apiary, Rogue Wave Software’s acquisition of Akana (fomerly SOA Software), Google’s acquisition of Apigee, and Red Hat’s acquisition of 3Scale.
Over the last decade, MuleSoft’s flagship Anypoint platform has evolved to help organizations comprehensively manage everything from Enterprise Service Bus style integration to API-led connectivity such that enterprises can develop and govern their application networks through a single pane of glass. That capability along with the clarion call for organizations to efficiently connect applications, data, and devices (ie: the Internet of Things) in ways that drive down the cost of IT while creating new business and revenue opportunities clearly put MuleSoft in an attractive spot for behemoths like Salesforce whose applications and development platforms will play an increasingly important role in such fabrics.
To the extent that Salesforce has perfected the art of customer relationship management and MuleSoft has the glue for pulling together customer information that’s typically disaggregated across dissimilar platforms and devices, the combined company is also in position to define what it means to create and capitalize on a real-time 360-degree view of a customer.
Every digital transformation starts and ends with the customer," said Salesforce chairman and CEO Marc Benioff in a jointly issued press release. "Together, Salesforce and MuleSoft will enable customers to connect all of the information throughout their enterprise across all public and private clouds and data sources—radically enhancing innovation.” MuleSoft CEO Greg Schott echoed that enthusiasm saying "Together, Salesforce and MuleSoft will accelerate our customers' digital transformations enabling them to unlock their data across any application or endpoint."
Although the announcement was made after the closing bell on Wall Street, shares in MuleSoft moved sharply higher earlier in the day as rumors of the acquisition began to surface.