Salesforce discloses Tableau results for first time since $15.7B deal, offering new Slack clues

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff speaks at CES in Las Vegas. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Seattle-based Tableau Software generated $394 million in revenue for Salesforce in its first fiscal quarter, up 38% from a year ago.

That’s up significantly from Tableau revenue growth of 15% in early 2019, in the data visualization technology company’s final earnings report as an independent operation. Salesforce completed the $15.7 billion acquisition in August 2019.

Tableau was involved in eight of the San Francisco-based company’s top 10 customer deals for the recent quarter.

Salesforce graphic, disclosing Mulesoft and Tableau results in its earnings presentation.

Salesforce disclosed the detailed financial results for Tableau for the first time as part of its quarterly earnings report on Thursday afternoon, offering reassurance to investors about the merits of its acquisition strategy as it prepares to swallow Slack for $27.7 billion.

The Slack deal will pit Salesforce against Microsoft, Zoom, Google and others in the fast-growing market for communications and collaboration technology. That deal is now expected to close in Salesforce’s current quarter, ending July 31.

In the same earnings report, Salesforce made a similar disclosure about MuleSoft, the integration software company it acquired for $6.5 billion in 2018. MuleSoft revenue rose 49% to $380 million in Salesforce’s fiscal first quarter, ended April 30, according to the Salesforce report.

The Tableau and MuleSoft results are part of what “gives us so much confidence in this pending Slack acquisition,” said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on a conference call with analysts.

However, it also looks like Tableau’s growth went through a lull following the completion of the acquisition in late 2019.

Crunching the numbers from Salesforce’s new disclosure, Tableau’s revenue was about $285 million in the first fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2020, a year ago. That was up less than 1% from revenue of $282.5 million for Tableau’s closest comparable period as a standalone company, its first quarter ended March 30, 2019.

Of course, one quarter is but a snapshot, and a lot was going on in early 2020. Tableau’s initial integration with Salesforce took place just as the COVID-19 pandemic started to grip the economy and the workplace. Regardless, the latest numbers suggest that Tableau’s business has since made up any lost ground.

Tableau was led at the time of the acquisition by Adam Selipsky, who has since returned to Amazon to become CEO of Amazon Web Services, succeeding incoming Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in that role, as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos moves into the role of executive chairman.

Inside Salesforce, the new President and CEO of Tableau is Mark Nelson, the former CTO at SAP Concur, who joined Tableau nearly three years ago as executive vice president of product development.

Business Insider, which reported earlier on the new financial disclosure from Salesforce, quotes analysts who say the Tableau and MuleSoft growth shows that Salesforce’s acquisition strategy is paying off for the company.

For the quarter, overall Salesforce revenue was $5.96 billion for the quarter, up 23%. Profits were $469 million, up more than four-fold from $99 million a year ago.

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