With Salesforce.com snapping up GoInstant for more than $70-million, here are five reasons why it’s a big deal for Canadian startups:
1. Salesforce.com’s love affair with Canadian technology companies continues to flourish. First, it snapped up Radian6 for $326-million, then Rypple for $65-million, and now the 12-employee GoInstant. Next thing you know, Salesforce.com will be setting up an office in Toronto, and camping out beside Google and Microsoft in Waterloo.
2. It shows that good ideas and fast-growing startups can be created anywhere, including Halifax where GoInstant is located. It’s a huge shot in the arm for startups in Atlantic Canada, as well as those operating outside major Canadian cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.
3. Hopefully, it will give Canadian VCs more confidence it’s A-OK to invest in early-stage startups as opposed to sitting on the sidelines until they get enough traction to reduce risk. Too bad they weren’t involved with GoInstant, which raised money from Freestyle Capital, Chamath Palihapitiya, Steve Anderson, Reid Hoffman, Yuri Milner and Ed Sim. Update: Halifax-based Innovacorp was also an early investor in GoInstant.
4. It’s more evidence that even though the IPO market is battered and bruised (Facebook, anyone?), there are still opportunities for high-tech companies to enjoy impressive exits by attracting large, well-financed players looking to break into new markets, fill gaps in their portfolios or acquire talent.
5. It should provide the Canadian high-tech market, which the Globe & Mail foolishly dismissed as “vanishing” last weekend, with more momentum. Personally, my take is the high-tech sector is thriving, and GoInstant’s success is just another tick mark on my side of the ledger. If the Globe wants to re-load on the Canadian high-tech market, I’d politely suggest it do an in-depth piece on the startup landscape.
Congrats to Jevon MacDonald, Ben Yoskovitz, Dave Kim, Gavin Uhma, Kirk MacPhee and the team at GoInstant, which has only been around for two years. It’s exciting to see Canadian startups be successful. Hopefully, this is another sign of good times ahead for our high-tech sector.