On demand CRM software vendor Salesforce.com is to acquire application platform start-up Heroku for $212 million.
US-based Heroku sells a platform as a service offering that allows independent software vendors to develop and host applications based on the Ruby programming language in Amazon’s EC2 cloud.
Heroku currently hosts approximately 106,000 applications on its platform, a number of which are developed for us on smartphones and other mobile devices.
The company currently employs between 25 and 30 staff at its headquarters in San Francisco, meaning the deal values each Heroku employee at between $7 million and $8.5 million.
During a speech at the company’s annual Dreamforce customer event in the city, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff said the acquisition of Heroku "was going to give Ruby developers a path into the enterprise".
The Ruby programming language, and its associated framework Ruby on Rails, has become increasingly popular among developers in recent years. Micro blogging application Twitter and local deal website Groupon are both programmed using Ruby.
Earlier this year, Heroku experienced first hand some of the perils associated with external IT infrastructure services. On 2 January, some of its virtual machines hosted on Amazon failed, temporarily knocking about 44,000 of its customers’ applications offline.