The company employs numerous alums of ExactTarget, the Indianapolis-based marketing-tech firm acquired by Salesforce.com for $2.5 billion in 2013.
Tech leaders, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, think Indianapolis would be a great location for Amazon’s second headquarters. And, like other cities in the running, it has some strengths and weaknesses.
The marketing tech company will take about 7,500 square feet in the Guaranty Building, where ExactTarget was located before Salesforce bought it in 2013, and add 50 jobs by 2019.
A handful of Indianapolis-based ExactTarget alumni have joined Cheetah Digital, which is led in part by an ExactTarget co-founder. And they’re looking for office space downtown.
They’re wondering if Angie’s List will be like ExactTarget, whose acquisition spawned job growth, or if jobs will erode over time. They’re also concerned about losing yet another mature, locally based tech firm with a major corporate presence.
The company's lease in the Gauranty Building, 20 S. Meridian St., will expire in the first quarter of next year, while a lease for the Century Building, 36 S. Pennsylvania St., runs until 2021. "Salesforce has no plans to vacate the Century office at this time," a spokesperson said.
Tech observers said they view Interactive’s sale as a net positive for the city, mostly because exit events spur some employees to invest their money and talent in new places.
In the immediate wake of news Wednesday that Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. had agreed to be acquired for $1.4 billion, Indianapolis tech leaders bubbled with praise for CEO Don Brown and with enthusiasm for the possible impact on the city.
Branding Brand, a Pittsburgh-based retail software company with a few ExactTarget alums of its own, has scooped up Indy-based Waysay, founded last year by two former ET’ers.
If completed, the acquisition would be the largest ever for Salesforce, topping its $2.5 billion purchase of Indianapolis-based ExactTarget Inc. in July 2013. Salesforce has about 1,400 employees in central Indiana.
After announcing aggressive expansion plans on Friday, the tech giant faces some headwinds as it tries to recruit talent that’s sometimes in short supply in Indianapolis.
Two women filed separate suits against the tech giant, which employs about 1,400 in Indianapolis, claiming the company passed over them for promotions on multiple occasions due to their race and gender.
Salesforce and some of its competitors have been using their Indianapolis operations to help forge a new industry—the creation of cloud-based digital dashboards known as “marketing clouds.”
Speaking in a cafe his company recently opened in downtown’s Gibson Building, Salesforce Marketing Cloud CEO Scott McCorkle re-affirmed hiring plans and left the door open for the Connections conference to return to Indy.
Many startups, here and elsewhere, secure venture capital funding by touting their market traction, revenue growth and other statistics, all in an effort to prove to investors that they’re good bets. However, a look behind the scenes of High Alpha and three other big venture deals last year suggests that, oftentimes, landing capital has more to do with relationships and luck than with metrics.
Sigstr, whose software helps companies market themselves through email signatures, raised about $1.5 million from prominent investors across the country.
Scott Dorsey and Kristian Andersen—two of the four partners at High Alpha—say they are pioneers because they’ve created a firm that combines company creation and venture funding.