How Sunrise got bought out by Microsoft after a LinkedIn message

by bold-lichterman

It is the story of a private message on LinkedIn that can make more than one entrepreneur dream (or not). In September 2014, Jeremy Le Van, co-founder of Sunrise, an application that offers a smart calendar, received a letter from an employee in charge of partnerships at Microsoft. He wants to meet him and his partner Pierre Valade. A first meeting will take place in Seattle a month later. “They presented this to us as a possible partnership, then we quickly understood that they were interested in an acquisition.», Explains to Frenchweb Mr. Valade.

Founded in New York in 2012 by a Belgian and a French after having worked for more than a year at Foursquare, the start-up was finally bought by Microsoft in February 2015. The press then evokes a transaction at 100 million dollars. A few months earlier, Accompli, another email and productivity management application, had been acquired.

Adapt the model from 1 million users to 100 million

At the time, Satya Nadella, the CEO of the American group, had decided to orient Microsoft’s strategy on mobile, the cloud and productivity. “We were really at the intersection of three areas: the cloud, because we connect several services to bring them together in Sunrise; productivity, because we edit a calendar; and mobile, because we were first known for our iOS and Android applications, ”explains Mr. Valade.

Today, Pierre Valade and Jeremy Le Van both work in the Outlook Mobile division, Microsoft’s e-mail service, and all of the Sunrise teams have been retained. “Our challenge is now to bring Sunrise innovations, which today affect 1 million monthly users, on a scale of 100 million users, or even 200 or 300”. More details with Pierre Valade, co-founder of Sunrise.

Sunrise: the key data

Creation: 2012

Founders: Pierre Valade and Jeremy Le Van

The head office : New York

Acquisition: acquired by Microsoft in 2015