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What Is MuleSoft, and Why Does Salesforce Want to Buy It?

Ryan McQueeney
County Bancorp (ICBK) has an impressive earnings surprise history and currently possesses the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely beat in its next quarterly report.

Shares of integration software maker MuleSoft MULE soared more than 20% in early afternoon trading Tuesday after news reports suggested that it was in advanced talks to be acquired by cloud computing giant Salesforce CRM.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters said Tuesday that Salesforce is interested in buying MuleSoft in order to bolster its offerings beyond customer relations software. The deal could be worth up to $6 billion and would represent Salesforce’s largest acquisition ever, the report said.

Reuters also mentioned that the move would underscore Chief Executive March Benioff’s desire to supplement his company’s cloud-based solutions with new technology. The publication’s sources said that the deal could be announced as soon as this week, although an agreement is not yet certain.

What Is MuleSoft?

MuleSoft designs platforms for connecting applications, data, and devices. The company’s “Anypoint” technology was described as a “disruptive” force within the enterprise software market in a recent note from analysts at Nomura.

“With a large potential TAM and product capabilities well ahead of the competition, MULE is poised to continue to gain share against the legacy incumbents in the integration software market,” the analysts said.

Based in San Francisco, MuleSoft has already attracted interest from Salesforce in the past. Salesforce Ventures, the cloud firm’s venture capital wing, led a $128 million funding round for the software company back in 2015.

MuleSoft claims more than 1,000 customers, including major clients like Coca-Cola KO, McDonald’s MCD, and Spotify. MuleSoft’s solutions help companies’ own networks run faster, making them ideal for businesses that are not yet prepared for a full transition to the cloud.

Why Does It Matter?

Salesforce currently claims about 18% of the global CRM software market, but the company likely senses that its strongest growth potential lies outside of its current area of expertise. As companies of all shapes and sizes prepare for the next generation of technology, firms like MuleSoft—which promise to make this evolution more painless—should be extremely beneficial.

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