Salesforce.com has agreed to acquire Jigsaw which provides crowd-sourced contact information for business. The deal is worth approximately $142 million in cash, plus a performance-based earn out of up to 10% of the purchase price, according to Techcrunch.
I derided Jigsaw when it first launched in April 2004 (see my blog post), as it allows users to buy other people's contact information, without their permission.
The model has changed - but I still dislike the whole concept:
- Users are no longer paid cash to upload contacts. Instead they receive points that can be used to download contact other people's contact information (ie not real currency, but a virtual one).
- It is now positioned as contact information cleanup tool
- Users can now see if their personal information has been uploaded, and there is a process to have it removed, at least temporarily.
- Revenue was rumored to be around $30 million per year at the end of 2009.
- 1.2 million users with 800 corporate customers.
- Database of 21 million contacts at nearly 4 million companies.
- The company had raised $18 million in venture capital to date.
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