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SugarCRM acquires Contastic for natural language-based predictive sales tools

innovent - March 8, 2016 - 0 comments

Following its acquisition of Stitch last year, SugarCRM — a CRM competitor to Salesforce — has picked up another startup to enhance the arsenal of intelligent sales tools that it provides to its customers. The company has acquired Contastic, a startup based out of Mountain View that built a platform based around natural language processing technology to analyse communications between sales people and their contacts, and help them keep up those relationships.

Contastic had built a platform that draws on data sources like email, LinkedIn and Salesforce essentially to create a composite picture both of the target contact, and a sales person’s existing relationship with that person, then also providing extra content — suggestions of relevant news stories — to help start up conversations with those people.

Contastic competed with and sat alongside a number of other tools on the market that are also in the general category of predictive sales like Clari, 6sense, InsideSales and more. This — combined with the fact that a lot of CRM is consolidating around specific platform players like SugarCRM, Salesforce and Oracle; and that there is something of a funding squeeze for some startups — will mean that we are likely to see more M&A activity, says Augustin.

“There is a lot of interesting tech that we are working on around helping people be a lot more connected and establish business relationships, but a lot of those feel like they are features that need to hook into a broader system,” he said. “We have a very broad platform that extends the whole cuxtomer lifecycle, and whether you are talking about a Contastic or Stitch it’s hard to monetise them separately. We are going to remain acquisitive. Let’s see what others in the space plan to do.”

What this will also help SugarCRM do is strengthen its own product while it too waits for its next “liquidity event.” The company’s most recent round of new funding was a $40 million Series F i 2013 — made at the time as the company was anticipating an IPO.

Times, for sure, have changed, but Augustin says SugarCRM — which started as an open source project but has since stopped updating its open source edition in favor of a more commercial model — is in a strong position.

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