Microsoft Acquires Collaboration Software Startup Ally to Strengthen Employee Experience Platform Viva - Start Up Gazzete
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Microsoft Acquires Collaboration Software Startup Ally to Strengthen Employee Experience Platform Viva


Microsoft has acquired Ally, a 3-year-old Seattle-based startup that helps companies track and achieve their goals. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Microsoft will use the agreement to bolster Microsoft Viva, its new employee experience platform that launched earlier this year. Viva aims to improve well-being by analyzing how employees spend their time, provide a central hub for internal company resources, integrate learning into workflow, and provide better access to internal corporate knowledge and experience. .

Ally helps companies monitor their Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), a popular framework for leading teams and businesses. The idea is to gather data from an entire organization and keep employees on the same page as they work towards milestones. Clients include brands such as Dropbox, Zillow Group,, and others.

Ally will power a new Microsoft Viva module, and Microsoft will integrate Ally into its other products such as Office, Power BI and Teams.

“ and Microsoft Viva will enrich the way people and teams come together to build alignment and achieve better business results,” wrote Kirk Koenigsbauer, Microsoft’s COO and CVP, Experiences and Devices Group, in a blog post. .

Viva is Microsoft’s entry into the increasingly crowded category of employee experience technology that aims to measure and improve the overall quality of work, health, and life for a company’s employees.

It’s part of a larger Microsoft effort to make its teams a central hub for work, trying to give its communication and collaboration software an edge over rivals like Zoom, Slack, and Google, while expanding its productivity technologies. beyond the core Microsoft Office suite.


Ally had raised $ 76 million, including a $ 50 million Series C round in February. Investors include Green Oaks Capital, Tiger Global, Madrona Venture Group, Accel, Addition Ventures, Founders’ Co-Op, and Vulcan Capital.

“As part of Viva, we are excited to continue to shape the future of work, now with the power of the most important technology company in the business sector behind us,” said Ally CEO Vetri Vellore, who previously passed 14 years at Microsoft, in a blog post.

Ally’s software integrates with other collaboration tools like Slack, Jira, Smartsheet, Asana, and more. Microsoft said today that “current customers can continue to expect the same great support and service, and new customers can continue to purchase existing service through”

Vellore came up with the idea for Ally after an experience at his previous startup. In 2007, he co-founded Chronus, a company that built digital tools for employee development programs. He implemented OKR, but found it cumbersome to track progress with spreadsheets and other manual methods. So Vellore built his own tool to streamline the process, which is what ultimately led him to start Ally.

Aviel Ginzburg, a general partner at Founders’ Co-op, who led the company’s seed round, wrote in a blog post that “Vetri is a man on fire with a passion to impact and uplift others, delivered through of a rare balance of charisma and humility that we look for in every new founder we meet. ”

“While we will miss spending time in the trenches with’s fantastic leadership team in this next stage of their growth, Microsoft is and always was the perfect long-term partner for them, and we couldn’t be more excited for all of the involved, “Ginzburg wrote.

Ally has more than 1,000 clients in more than 80 countries. It employs 250 people.

Ally won Startup of the Year honors at the 2020 GeekWire Awards, and was a finalist for Next Tech Titan this year.

Author avatar
Joshua Smith

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