Amadeus windfall as Microsoft acquires Yammer

Amadeus windfall as Microsoft pays $1.2bn for Yammer



David Sacks, CEO of Yammer (left) and Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft shake on a $1.2bn deal that includes the Amadeus backed oneDrum

Amadeus’ first seed fund exit, oneDrum has just become a part of Microsoft following its $1.2 billion acquisition of Yammer, providing the Redmond computer giant with a credible social media arm and a major cloud challenge to Google Docs.

Popularly described as Facebook for enterprise, Yammer has been moved straight into the Microsoft Office division, one of Microsoft’s most profitable and best performing divisions. It is also the one under immense pressure from Google.

Microsoft Office is dominant in the enterprise sector, but its slow response to cloud-based offerings such as Google Docs is seen as a potential not-too-distant pit fall. Last year Microsoft demonstrated one effort to counter the challenge of Google Docs when it brought Office 365 out of beta.

That was greeted with a mixed response with reviews generally unsatisfied with its online, real-time working capabilities as well as the sharing options.

Yammer has the social networking capabilities in spades and in OneDrum, which Yammer acquired for an undisclosed amount in April this year, it has a file synchronisation and real-time collaboration platform for Microsoft Office’s most popular programs, Word, Excel and Power Point. Furthermore you don’t need new or special versions of the programs, instead it works with the existing software dating back as far as Windows XP 2003.

Amadeus Capital Partners will greet the acquisition as warmly as anybody having been the principal investor in oneDrum since its 2008 seed funding and the sale to Yammer represented the first exit for its £10m Seed Fund.

Alex van Someren, Amadeus partner and oneDrum non-executive chairman, said the deal was cut using a mixture of cash and Yammer shares so it could benefit from any future increase in Yammer’s value, which the Microsoft deal has provided and by at least double in just six weeks if reports from around the time of its February $85m fundraising are accurate.

The extent to which the deal has benefited Amadeus is not been disclosed, at least double perhaps if Yammer’s valuation has indeed moved from $500m/600m to $1.2m. Van Someren would only say that it has delivered a high-multiple return on investment to its investors.