Wipro Limited announced on Thursday that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Appirio, a global cloud services company, for a purchase consideration of $500 million. Established in 2006, Appirio is headquartered in Indianapolis, with offices in San Francisco, Dublin, London, Jaipur and Tokyo, and has 1,250 employees worldwide.
Founded by Mike O’Brien and Narinder Singh, Appirio creates next generation worker and customer experiences, and is a trusted partner to leading brands like Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Home Depot and Sony PlayStation. Appirio had raised a total of $111.7 million in funding across multiple rounds, with a $35 million Series E round in April 2015 being its last external investment.
Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, CEO and Executive Director, Wipro Limited, noted that in an increasingly digital world, as consumer behaviours and expectations continue to be reshaped by experiences, companies are recognising that they need to transform how they engage with customers and employees by leveraging the power of Cloud. He said,
Appirio and Wipro are coming together to unlock synergies in the applications space and help enterprises create new business models. Wipro will consolidate its existing cloud applications practices of Salesforce and Workday under the Appirio brand and structure. Chris Barbin, CEO of Appirio, will lead the expanded business.
“Chris and his team have spent the last decade building Appirio into a global leader, delivering amazing customer experiences with Salesforce,” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “I couldn’t be more proud of Appirio as it joins Wipro, where together, they will continue to drive customer success on a much larger scale.”
Aneel Bhusri, Co-founder and CEO, Workday, said, “With Appirio, Wipro gains an organisation with deep industry expertise and a strong commitment to customer service, dedicated to helping companies take their businesses to the cloud.”
In a detailed blogpost, Chris noted that the decision to sell was a tough one. He also went so far as to create a decision-making matrix that weighed the long-term upside with the initial excitement for each group of constituents. He noted,
Ultimately, I boiled it down to what I feel are the four most important considerations: “The Four C’s” – Customers, Careers, Competition and Culture.
While the first three considerations were logical, Chris noted that their alignment with Wipro wasn't just “good on paper”, it felt right. Chris described how his meetings with different senior executives from Wipro, such as Hiral Chandrana, Senior Vice President of Business Application Services at Wipro, and Ishad Premji, Chief Strategy Officer and Wipro board member, went well. He then said,
Finally, I spent a week in Bengaluru, India touring the Wipro innovation centre. After a lunch at the Premji Foundation, where I was honoured to meet Wipro founder and chairman Azim Premji – who knew our team by name, was fully engaged, incredibly humble and fully transparent – I knew Appirio had found a true partner in Wipro. Together, our aim is to dominate the market and claim the top spots in industry Net Promoter Score, market share, and best places to work.
Wipro noted that the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to be closed by December 31, 2016. Once completed, Wipro estimates that this acquisition will create one of the world’s largest cloud transformation practices in today’s as-a-service and digital economy. Appirio also brings to Wipro Topcoder, a leading crowdsourcing marketplace connecting over a million designers, developers and data scientists around the world with customers.
In a video, Chris noted that after the deal is closed, Appirio will retain its brand identity and continue as an independent organisation under Wipro.