Software vendor Siebel Systems is paying more than $600m for a small startup with modest sales to boost its customer relationship management systems.
Although OnLink Technologies reported a loss of $13.4m on revenue of $4.7m in the first half of this year, the company boasts household name clients such as General Electric (GE), Amdahl and Sony. It has so far attracted $37m from venture capitalists.
OnLink develops technology that creates virtual sales people for ecommerce sites. Its software is based on what it calls customer decision architecture, which provides potential buyers with advice, guidance and recommendations on ecommerce purchases.
Buck French, president and chief executive at OnLink, said: "It's fundamental that what you do with customers in the physical world you should do in the electronic."
Siebel plans to integrate OnLink's technology with its own ecommerce applications for interactive selling, marketing, customer service and partner management.
All of GE's 14 businesses have recently said they will use the OnLink software. Keith Miller, senior vice president of GE Equity, said: "GE puts our customers first in all that we do and both [Siebel and OnLink] provide applications that help us do that."
The acquisition follows last month's purchase by Siebel of ecommerce software developer OpenSite. OpenSite creates software that allows companies to provide a host of traditional auction and reverse auction sales transactions.
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