The announcement that Salesforce.com is buying a Halifax firm is very interesting. I encourage you to click on the link because the owners of that firm can’t be much older than their mid 20s. $70 million richer today.
I still remember the wariness that some government and business types had towards the initial Salesforce.com purchase of Radian6. Now they have announced 300 new jobs in New Brunswick and are moving into Nova Scotia.
I can’t underestimate the importance of this region being on the North American IT investment capital carousel. This is a huge merry-go-round with investment capital getting on and off where new opportunities are identified.
This region has not really been on this carousel. There have been a few deals but we haven’t seen the coveted momentum.
We may now be seeing momentum.
It is true that some analysts think that Salesforce.com is buying up these small firms to position itself as an acquisition target by an IT industry giant. It could be that at some point in the future, this firm’s operations in the Maritimes could wither. I don’t happen to believe that but it is certainly possible.
But it doesn’t matter. Radian6 or GoInstant or Chalk Media or Whitehill Technologies – whatever firm – could have just as easily gone under and destroyed all that value. Now we have tens of millions worth of new capital sloshing around the IT industry in the Maritimes. Hopefully some of it will find its way into other new startups and voila we have Simba’s circle of life.
While I am popping Rolaids reading and talking about LIBOR and how Wall Streeters are gaming the system to make a few bucks, I am raising a glass of Champagne to an other kind of investor – one that is willing to invest in IT firms and engage in the pure risk of a capitalist world. Some of these investments will go south – some will prosper but at least these latter investors have a clean conscience. Those who would game the system and shaft the rest of us so they can buy their next Porsche should be ashamed.