Salesforce buys a steelbrick for Christmas

oSalesforce has just bought six-year-old startup SteelBrick for $360 million which will become a wholly owned subsidiary after the deal closes in April 2016.

SteelBrick is expected to bolster Salesforce’s Sales Cloud business, by far the largest segment of the company. But it’s unclear how it plays into Salesforce’s recent move to target larger enterprises because SteelBrick is largely for small companies.

The deal was rumoured since last week but the deal size is almost half of the expected $600 million amount.

Salesforce was already an investor in SteelBrick, so the final price might reflect what Salesforce paid without including its existing stake.

SteelBrick offers quote-to-cash (QTC) technology that makes it easier for salespeople to put together complex quotes and billings for potential customers. The company last raised $48 million in October at a reported valuation of $250 million.

The startup is run by Godard Abel, the former CEO of BigMachines, another QTC software maker acquired by Oracle for $400 million in 2013. There’s a number of popular QTC solutions in the market, but SteelBrick is different in that it mostly deals with small- and medium-size businesses.

The SteelBrick acquisition marks the largest deal in more than two years for Salesforce. The last startup deal it made of any note was when it bought RelateIQ for $390 million last year.