As large organizations grapple with adopting modern work practices without throwing out all of their legacy software, a company that works with them is making an acquisition that it hopes will help with that process. Citrix today is announcing that it has acquired Sapho, a startup that develops “micro apps” for legacy software so that workers could use then as they would more modern applications: in the cloud, on mobile and more.
We understand that the acquisition was for around $200 million in an all-cash deal. It’s a good return: Sapho had raised just under $28 million since 2014 from investors that included AME Cloud Ventures, Louie Alsop, Felicis Ventures and more. Including co-founders Fouad ElNaggar and Peter Yared, the whole team of 90 employees, based mainly in the Bay Area and a development office in Prague, will be joining Citrix.
Citrix, for its part, currently has a market cap of about $14 billion and has been seeing a surge of interest under new CEO David Henshall, who has repositioned it from focusing mainly on virtual private networking services to a more hybrid cloud model, following a wider trend in the world of enterprise IT.
Citrix will be bringing on all of Sapho’s existing business and products. The two companies already have a strong overlap in their customer bases, CEO ElNaggar said, and it was in fact several of those customers asking for more integrations with Citrix services that drove Citrix approaching Sapho for this deal.
“The largest companies in the world are using Citrix and have a massive hybrid environment where they need to provide a more engaging set of experiences for their employees,” Tim Minahan, EVP Business Strategy and CMO of Citrix, said in an interview. “It doesn’t mean they will rip everything out and put in new software, and Sappho provides a great way to leverage that infrastructure and make them more insightful in their decision making. We see it as a way to rethink the role that enterprise apps play in their environment.”
Typical tasks that Sapho today provides integrations for by tapping into legacy software include expense reporting, sales software, IT support tickets and HR tasks. It feeds data from these into services like Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle’s EBS, Salesforce and SAP ERP, Workday, Google Drive and more.
Ahead of Citrix buying Sapho we’d heard that IBM and Microsoft had eyed up the company and entered into early talks, underscoring the work Sapho had done, the deals it was winning, and the gap in the market that it was filling.
By Ingrid Lunden