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Google announced today that it’s acquiring DocVerse, a startup that helps users collaborate in Microsoft Office.

This confirms a report from TechCrunch back in December that acquisition talks for a deal were underway with a price of $25 million. A source also told the Wall Street Journal today that Google has agreed to pay $25 million.

When the rumor first surfaced, Google executives were talking up 2010 as the year new features will help Google Docs become a viable alternative to Microsoft Office, so a DocVerse acquisition seems to fit into that strategy. In the announcement, Google Apps Product Manager Jonathan Rochelle said the deal should help Google Docs integrate with Office and perhaps other desktop software:

We recognize that many people are still accustomed to desktop software. So as we continue to improve Google Docs and Google Sites as rich collaboration tools, we’re also making it easier for people to transition to the cloud, and interoperate with desktop applications like Microsoft Office.

For example, we recently made it possible to use Google Docs to store and share any type of file that you have on your computer, not just the ones you create online. Today we’re excited to announce another step towards seamless interoperability: We have acquired DocVerse.

The deal shouldn’t affect Microsoft directly, but it does seem embarrassing, or at least odd, that Google was the one to acquire a company built on Microsoft’s platform and founded by former Microsoft employees. (DocVerse’s co-founders previously worked as managers for the software giant’s collaboration service Sharepoint.)

The San Francisco company raised $1.3 million from Baseline Ventures, Michael Dearing and undisclosed angel investors.

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