Web Clipping Service Clipboard Acquired By Salesforce For $12M, Will Be Shuttered On June 30th

Posted: May 10, 2013 in GT, Social
Tags: ,

Today is just jam-packed full of acquisition-
shutdowns. Just hours ago, word broke that Yahoo!
had acquired both MileWise and GoPollGo, with plans
to discontinue both. Next up on the happy-now-sad-
users-later train: Clipboard, the bookmarklet-based
web clipping service we covered previously here. According to a notice e-mailed to its users, Clipboard
has been acquired by Salesforce and will be
shutdown in a bit over a month. [Disclosure: Clipboard was backed by CrunchFund,
the venture capital firm headed by TC founder
Michael Arrington. While Mike — nor anyone else
involved with CrunchFund — has ever even
mentioned Clipboard to me in passing, we try to be
transparent about these things.] While terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, we’re
hearing that the final figure was in the “double digit
millions” — UPDATE: We’re now hearing from a very, very solid source that the purchase price
was $12 Million. Leading up to today, the company had raised $2.5M from Andreessen Horowitz, Index
Ventures, CrunchFund, SV Angel, Betaworks, DFJ,
First Round and others. Wondering what the heck Clipboard is — or, soon,
was? Not unlike Pinterest, Snip.it, or the myriad other
web clipping services that popped up around
2010/2011, Clipboard let you highlight things from
around the web and “clip” them into a digital storage
locker for later perusal. Once in their backend, clipped content could be annotated, shared, or just browsed
at a later date. Given the similarities to existing
services like Pinterest and Evernote, both with huge
traction themselves, Clipboard had yet to find a
substantially sized audience for its service. Prior to the acquisition, the company had grown to
around 100,000 users, and was seeing growth rates of
40 percent month-over-month. In January, it reported
having reached 1.7 million+ clips since it had opened
its private beta, back in October 2011. The company had some interest in the education
space, however. At the beginning of the year, it
received a strategic investment from ed-tech
company Scientia. But following the Salesforce
buyout, the product itself will be shut down and
discontinued on June 30th, 2013, so those earlier plans to further develop the product for use in the
education space will be discontinued as well. While the notice itself makes no mention of what’s
next for the team, an acquisition FAQ on their site
lays it all out: Clipboard founder and CEO Gary Flake
will be joining Salesforce as VP of Engineering, and
much of the service’s design and engineering team
will still be working under his guidance out of Salesforce’s Seattle office. Clipboard is giving users until the end of June to say
goodbye to the service and get their data out through
a provided export tool. Come June 30th, that data
heads for a server farm in the sky (read: it’s getting
destroyed). The full text of the e-mail: Hi [user], We have some bittersweet news. We are extremely
happy to announce that salesforce.com has signed
an agreement to acquire Clipboard, allowing us to
pursue our mission of saving and sharing the Web on
a much larger scale. But at the same time we’re also
sad to see this stage of our adventure come to an end, especially since it means that our relationship
with you, our users, will irreversibly change. The
Clipboard service at clipboard.com will be
discontinued on June 30, 2013. But we have your backs. If you want it, all of your
data will be preserved into a personal archive from
which you can view your clips and boards offline. And
if you want your clips destroyed, we can handle that
as well. All of the details for what comes next are in
the FAQ and some more personal reflections are on our blog. In nearly two years, 140,000 of you created nearly 3
million clips while over a million of you interacted with
them. Thank you for joining us on this journey. We
will dearly miss seeing all of you on Clipboard, but we
hope you’ll support us in the next leg of our journey. Best,
The Clipboard Team


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