Salesforce acquires Clipboard; folds service

The web content clipping and sharing service will shut down on June 30, 2013.

Screenshot courtesy Clipboard

Salesforce has signed an agreement to acquire Clipboard, the web content clipping and sharing service, the companies announced today.

The price wasn't disclosed, but AllThingsD's Liz Gannes estimated it to be between $10 million and $20 million.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Clipboard launched in January 2011 with a mission to help people "save and share parts of the Web they care about." It used a bookmarklet to allow its users to "clip" search query results, maps, stock quotes, Twitter or Facebook status updates, images, videos and a number of other items—pieces of websites, in other words, rather than the entire page. The clips could then be annotated and shared.

The company called the Salesforce deal "bittersweet" in a note to its customers:

We are extremely happy to announce that has signed an agreement to acquire Clipboard, allowing us to pursue our mission of saving and sharing the Web on a much larger scale. But at the same time we’re also sad to see this stage of our adventure come to an end, especially since it means that our relationship with you, our users, will irreversibly change.

The change: Clipboard's service will be discontinued on June 30, 2013, so that the company can "focus on a singular platform for building new capabilities within Salesforce, which is not something that we could do while keeping Clipboard operating."

(One can only wonder what the folks at Evernote and Memonic think of the news.)

The data of Clipboard's existing customers—about 140,000 in all—will be "preserved into a personal archive" from which they be viewed, exported or deleted. All data will be deleted shortly after the service shuts down.

Founder Gary Flake kept it brief in a post on the company's blog: "Peace out." The square-jawed entrepreneur was previously an executive at Overture Services and founded Yahoo's Research Labs (after that company acquired Overture in 2003) and Microsoft's Live Labs; he'll become vice president of engineering and work out of Salesforce's Seattle office with his team.

The startup was backed by a number of prominent venture capital firms and Silicon Valley investors (Flake described them, amusingly, as a "murderers' row"), including Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Michael Arrington's CrunchFund, SV Angel, Betaworks and First Round Capital.