Halifax whiz kids sell tech startup for $70M
A Halifax technology company has reportedly been sold for tens of millions of dollars and plans to double its staff within the next year.
GoInstant writes software that allows users to share their web-browsing experience and collaborate over the internet in real time — whether with people in the same room or on the other side of the world. The company, founded in 2010, raised $1.7 million in seed financing and began operations in 2011.
The firm was bought by Salesforce.com, a provider of enterprise cloud computing applications that Forbes magazine has called the most innovative company in the world.
"The GoInstant team has built incredibly sophisticated technology," Salesforce co-founder Parker Harris said in a release. "We will help them scale and grow so that social enterprises everywhere can engage with and delight customers in totally new ways."
The Wall Street Journal reported that the tech giant paid more than $70 million US for GoInstant. Salesforce has been buying up startups that have developed social-media tools and web-based services.
GoInstant co-founder Gavin Uhma told CBC News that although its main customers are in San Francisco, the company has no plans to move its headquarters from Halifax. GoInstant currently has 14 employees and plans to add another 15 within the coming year.
Of the four founders, Uhma and Kirk MacPhee are graduates of the technology program at Cape Breton University. Dave Kim was employed by Cape Breton firm TechLink before he joined Golnstant, and P.E.I. native Jevon MacDonald was entrepreneur-in-residence at Innovacorp in Halifax.
Uhma, 27, and MacDonald, 29, said they have some plans for their share of the money.
"It's funny but the first thing that crosses your mind is family and being able to take care of family in ways that you maybe couldn't before," Uhma told CBC News. "That's the No. 1 priority.""Yeah, I think Gavin and I are on the same page with that," Macdonald said. "We've got some pretty simple things we want to do. Other than that, we just want to stay focused on what we're doing here."