Microsoft is said to be on the verge of acquiring Parature, a customer-care service provider. Sources familiar with the matter claim that the deal has already been finalized, and will be announced later today, January 7, 2014. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s thought to be worth around $100 million.
Parature offers a cloud-based customer-care service, which includes mobile, social and reporting customer-service components. Its customers include companies such as IBM, Ask.com, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Parature isn’t completely out of the blue, as the two already have an existing partnership. Microsoft leverages Parature’s service in its contact management suite, Dynamics CRM. The acquisition not only cements this partnership, but it’s also expected to boost Dynamics CRM so that it can effectively compete with other vendors like Oracle and Salesforce.com, as well as keep Parature’s technology out of the hands of Microsoft’s rivals.
The acquisition will fill a gap in Microsoft’s customer care service, as Parature’s technology will allow them to deliver a more robust customer experience.
Duke Chung, Parature’s current chairman, was one of five co-founders of the company. In 2000, five Cornell University students created an online chat app called Cyracle which was eventually renamed to Parature, a portmanteau of “Paradigm of the Future,” in 2003.
The company has received a total of $30.2 million in venture capital funding, from Valhalla Partners, Sierra Ventures, and Accel Partners, over the years. To date, Parature boasts of having more than 70 million users, a huge increase from the 35 million it had in 2011.