InfoShot: The dynasty yields startups

Marc Benioff’s company pioneered cloud applications and now it’s the finishing school for a new generation of startups

Large companies have a habit of begetting large, or at least interesting, companies. Former Microsofties gave us employer ratings site Glassdoor, streaming media pioneer RealNetworks, games developer Valve, home-finder website Zillow and uber-social shoes-to-clothing seller Zappos. In its short history, Amazon has already been the progenitor or alma mater to Indian e-commerce wonderkid Flipkart, richly funded buying club, new-telephony star Twilio, answers page Quora and cloud automation firm Chef. Partly through M&A, Google can already count Foursquare, Twitter, Instagram and online video platform Ooyala. Former Oracle staffers gave us cloud ERP favourite NetSuite, CRM behemoth Siebel (which Oracle brought back into the fold via a multibillion-dollar purchase) and, of course, where CEO/founder Marc Benioff was once a prized salesman and favourite of Larry Ellison.

Today though Benioff is building his own dynasty, a bunch of startups that have built lots of buzz, VC and even sales – and all founded by people who once called Benioff boss at Salesforce.

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