Microsoft has acquired ally, a Seattle based startup that has been established for three years to help the company track and achieve its goals. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Microsoft will use the deal to strengthen Microsoft Viva, a new employee experience platform launched by Microsoft earlier this year. Viva aims to improve welfare by analyzing how employees use their time, providing a central hub for internal resources, integrating learning into work processes, and providing channels for better internal corporate knowledge and expertise.
Ally helps companies monitor their goals and key results (OKR), a popular framework for running teams and businesses. The idea is to bring together data from the entire organization to keep employees consistent as they move towards milestones. Customers include Dropbox, zillow group, overstock.com and other brands.
Ally will power the new Microsoft Viva module and Microsoft will integrate ally into other products such as office, power Bi and team.
“Ally.io and Microsoft Viva will enrich the way people and teams work together to build consistency and achieve better business results,” Microsoft chief operating officer of experience and equipment group and CVP Kirk koenigsbauer wrote on their blog.
Viva is an increasingly crowded field for Microsoft to enter the field of employee experience technology, which aims to measure and improve the overall quality of work, health and life of employees.
This is part of Microsoft’s greater efforts to make its team the central hub of work, try to make its communication and collaboration software dominant in front of competitors such as zoom, slack and Google, and further expand its productivity technology beyond the core Microsoft Office suite.
Ally has raised $76 million, including a $50 million Series C financing round in February. Investors include green oak capital, tiger global, madrona venture capital group, accel, addition ventures, founder partnership and Vulcan capital.
“As part of Viva, we are happy to continue to shape the future of our work. Now we have the strength of the most important technology company in the business field to support us,” said Vetri Vellore, ally CEO, who has worked at Microsoft for 14 years in a blog post.
Ally’s software integrates with other collaboration tools, including slack, JIRA, smartsheet, asana, etc. Microsoft said today, “current customers can continue to expect the same excellent support and services, and new customers can continue to buy existing services through ally.io.”
Microsoft launched team Viva, trying to shake the $300 billion employee experience technology market
Veroll put forward ally’s idea after his last entrepreneurial experience. In 2007, he co founded chronus, a company that develops digital tools for employee development programs. He implemented okrs, but found it cumbersome to track progress using spreadsheets and other manual methods. Therefore, Vellore established his own tools to simplify the process, which is the reason why he finally started ally.
Aviel Ginzburg, general partner of founders’ co-op, wrote in a blog post: “Vitelli is a passionate person who has the passion to influence and enhance others through a rare balance of charm and humility we find in every new founder we meet.”
Ginzburg wrote: “although we will miss the time spent in the trenches with the excellent leadership team of ally.io in the next stage of development, Microsoft has always been their perfect long-term partner, and we are very excited for all those involved.”.
Ally has more than 1000 customers in more than 80 countries. It has 250 employees.
Ally won the best start-up company of the year award at the 2020 geekwire award and is a finalist for the next technology giant this year.