Citrix Acquires Podio As it Maps the Future of Work

Enterprise cloud service provider Citrix announced today that it has acquired Podio, the cloud-based project management, collaboration, CRM, recruiting and social communication tool founded in 2009 by Danish entrepreneurs Jon Froda, Anders Pollas and Andreas Haugstrup Pedersen. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Citrix looks to be expanding its existing enterprise communication tool suite with Podio’s comprehensive offering, which comes complete with an active and engaged user community and custom app market.

Podio co-founder Jon Froda told BetaKit in an interview that Citrix’s interest was due to Podio’s comprehensive approach. “We envisioned a work platform in which you don’t just talk about work, the way you do on various streaming activity tools, but you actually do your work,” he said. “So you have your leads, you have your clients, you have all these things inside the Podio apps you built. That’s what Citrix saw [value in], and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

Podio has managed to attract over 40,000 organizations as users of the platform, the company recently revealed in an update on its progress to mark its first anniversary of pubic availability. Users at those organizations have created over 75,000 apps with Podio, which offers an API but also allows end users with no coding experience to roll out their own apps using drag-and-drop design tools. As a result, Podio will for the immediate future remain its own separately-branded offering, and both the existing Podio coding and user experience teams in Copenhagen and San Francisco will remain in their respective locations.

Citrix also says in its official announcement of the acquisition that Podio will become part of its GoTo suite of products, which includes the popular online meeting tool GoToMeeting. Froda said that he couldn’t discuss specifics of future product integrations or how that might look in terms of changes or additions to Podio’s branding down the road, but he did say all the aspects of the products that have made it popular thus far, including the Podio App Marketplace where customers can search for tools created by other Podio members to use in their own deployment, are a core reason why Citrix pursued the deal in the first place, and as such will continue to be offered to new and existing users.

This acquisition is yet another indication that online collaboration tools, especially those that focus on delivering cloud-based, cross-platform tools that are easy to deploy and suitable for use across an entire organization, are a hot commodity right now. Podio was only on the market for one year, but that was long enough for it to catch the attention of Citrix, a publicly-traded industry pioneer that’s been in the cloud services business for as long as there’s been a cloud services business to be in, and which garnered $2.21 billion in revenue in 2011.

Upstarts like Screenleap are trying to make waves in online collaboration and productivity with simple, targeted single-purpose tools that take single elements of products like GoToMeeting and make them dead-simple, but Podio’s successful exit indicates that for M&A purposes at least, an all-in-one approach might be more in line with what the big providers are hearing their users ask for.

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