Intuit to Acquire Demandforce for $424MM

Posted on April 27, 2012. Filed under: advertising, Internet, Uncategorized, Venture Capital, Web/Tech | Tags: , , |

This morning, Intuit announced its agreement to acquire one of Benchmark’s portfolio companies, Demandforce, for $424mm. As with Instagram, Benchmark Capital is the largest institutional investor in Demandforce. Unlike Instagram, which is a consumer application and is extremely well known, Demandforce focuses on local professional businesses and has chosen to keep an intentionally low profile – a strategy that has served them well.

Great entrepreneurs often blaze their own trails, and the founder and CEO of Demandforce, Rick Berry, is no different. In a day and age of social media, where many companies project a persona much larger than reality, Demandforce chose instead to focus on its customers and its products. We never even announced Benchmark’s funding of the company, which I believe is unprecedented. The Demandforce team always felt that the attention should be focused on the customer rather than the company.

Demandforce’s customer mission has always been the same – to help small businesses thrive in an evolving and increasingly complex connected world. Today, they are the leading provider of interactive “front office” SAAS services to thousands and thousands of professional small business owners. The Demandforce product is a powerful web-based application that seamlessly integrates with existing workflow systems, works automatically, and delivers guaranteed results. Through this, Demandforce provides local businesses – like salons, auto shops, chiropractors, dentists, and veterinarians – with affordable and easy access to the tools and platforms that large enterprises use to communicate with customers, build a strong online reputation and leverage network marketing. It you have ever received an automated communication from your dentist, it was likely sent through Demandforce.

Demandforce’s success puts it at the forefront of the burgeoning “Local Internet” wave. The combination of Internet pervasiveness and smartphone penetration has led to a complete reconfiguration with regard to how local businesses interact with their customers. These local businesses have traditionally spent over $125B/year on traditional media, and this is only in the U.S. But the channels they have historically used, such as the newspaper and the yellow pages, are increasingly compromised. These business owners know they need new solutions, and these dollars will be reallocated to these exciting new platforms. Benchmark believes this “Local Internet” wave is many times larger than the “social” and “mobile” themes with which it is often contrasted. In addition to DemandForce, Benchmark is fortunate to have backed such “Local Internet” market leaders as OpenTable (OPEN), Zillow (Z), Yelp (YELP), Peixe Urbano, GrubHub, Uber, and Nextdoor.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Rick Berry, Patrick Barry, Hoang Vuong, Mark Hale, Sam Osman and Annie Tsai at Demandforce. This is truly one of the best teams ever assembled. It was also a pleasure to work with Steve Kostyshen as well as Mike Maples of Floodgate and Peter Ziebelman of Palo Alto Venture Partners, all of whom preceded us in their investment, and all of whom are passionate fans of the company.

It is certainly thrilling to see a team of entrepreneurs reach a significant milestone such as this.  That said, it is equally bittersweet as it means we will no longer be working directly with them on this incredibly compelling mission. Our loss is unquestionably Brad Smith and Intuit’s gain. Combining the leading “front office” small business SAAS vendor with the iconic Silicon Valley small business company is an incredibly compelling combination.

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21 Responses to “Intuit to Acquire Demandforce for $424MM”

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[…] seen a liquidity event (OpenTable, Zillow, and Yelp have had successful IPOs, and DemandForce was recently purchased by Intuit for $425 million). As small business owners embrace the Internet, the local Internet is firing on all cylinders. Not […]

Well seasoned professionals always focus on their clients and not their hype. Good for Demandforce and congrats to you Bill and Benchmark!

[…] decided not to even announce the firm’s investment in the company, which is a first, according to Bill Gurley, the Benchmark partner who led the deal and who is on the company’s board. Demandforce, based in San Francisco and founded back in […]

[…] was backed by Mike Maples, Palo Alto Ventures, and Benchmark […]

[…] found this quite refreshing on TechCrunch: Benchmark partner Bill Gurley wrote an interesting note about the acquisition today, revealing that the firm didn’t even announce […]

[…] the early investment in EBay, was the biggest institutional investor in Instagram and […]

[…] decided not to even announce the firm’s investment in the company, which is a first, according to Bill Gurley, the Benchmark partner who led the deal and who is on the company’s board. Demandforce, based in San Francisco and founded back in […]

[…] was backed by Mike Maples, Palo Alto Ventures, and Benchmark […]

[…] all-cash deal is another win for Benchmark Capital, the largest institutional investor, which is coming off its big payoff in the $1 billion Instagram […]

[…] to grow Intuit’s customer base and revenue per customer over time.”Demandforce was backed by Mike Maples, Palo Alto Ventures, and Benchmark Capital.Becnhmark partner Bill Gurley wrote an […]

[…] all-cash deal is another win for Benchmark Capital, the largest institutional investor, which is coming off its big payoff in the $1 billion Instagram […]

[…] decided not to even announce the firm’s investment in the company, which is a first, according to Bill Gurley, the Benchmark partner who led the deal and who is on the company’s board. Demandforce, based in San Francisco and founded back in […]

[…] was backed by Mike Maples, Palo Alto Ventures, and Benchmark […]

[…] has acquired Demandforce for $424 million. Demandforce is a software company that started out working with a […]

[…] was backed by Mike Maples, Palo Alto Ventures, and Benchmark […]

[…] was backed by Mike Maples, Palo Alto Ventures, and Benchmark […]

[…] was backed by Mike Maples, Palo Alto Ventures, and Benchmark […]

[…] Capital’s Bill Gurley elaborates in a blog post: Demandforce’s success puts it at the forefront of the burgeoning “Local Internet” wave. The […]

[…] was backed by Mike Maples, Palo Alto Ventures, and Benchmark […]

[…] was backed by Mike Maples, Palo Alto Ventures, and Benchmark […]

[…] closes, Demandforce will become a division in Intuit’s Small Business Group. Demandforce was backed by Mike Maples, and Benchmark […]


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    …focusing on the evolution and economics of high technology business and strategy. By day, I am a venture capitalist at Benchmark Capital.

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