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Salesforce.com buys crowd-sourced business data firm for £92m

LONDON - CRM software provider Salesforce.com has agreed to acquire Jigsaw, a US-based company offering a 'Wikipedia-style' approach to business contact data, for $142m (£92.2m) in cash.

Jigsaw: contact database of more than 21 million professionals

Jigsaw: contact database of more than 21 million professionals

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Launched six years ago, Jigsaw has a contact database of more than 21 million professionals at nearly four million companies.

The database is maintained by companies and professionals, who can become members of Jigsaw by sharing their contact data with other members.

They are able to edit their own information, set their contact preferences or, if they choose, opt out of the listing.

They can access data from the database in exchange for both money and points, which can by accumulated by helping to maintain data quality.

Salesforce.com, which, like Jigsaw, provides its services via the internet in the so-called 'cloud computing' model, said the acquisition was its "strategic entry into the $3bn market for cloud-based business to business data services".

Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive of Salesforce.com, said: "With Jigsaw, we'll make it as easy as Wikipedia to source data, as easy as iTunes to buy data, and as easy as Facebook to stay updated as the data changes."

After the acquisition goes through, Jigsaw will remain open to all CRM systems, but current Salesforce.com customers will find an integrated experience that includes an automated process for data cleansing.

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