Holla for a dolla

SalesCrunch Boldly Offers to Buy Competitor WebEx for $1 via Bizarre Slide Deck

Is this a joke?
large SalesCrunch Boldly Offers to Buy Competitor WebEx for $1 via Bizarre Slide Deck

A creepy slide from the SalesCrunch offer.

SalesCrunch, the “next-generation online meeting platform,” announced today that it’s willing to take one of Cisco’s more extraneous ventures off the company’s hands for the generous price of $1 (plus 15 percent equity). WebEx, for which Cisco paid a whopping $3.2 billion in 2007, is online meeting software, which is completely different from Cisco’s main business, router manufacturing.

Fearing that Cisco would shutter WebEx just like they did Flip, SalesCrunch execs decided WebEx could be easily integrated into their platform, and potentially save the company from a lot of layoffs. “We figured we could probably come in, save a lot of jobs, transfer a huge base of customers to a better platform, get it off their books and out of their line of sight,” SalesCrunch founder and CEO Sean Black told Betabeat.

The offer came in the form of a press release attached to a particularly bizarre slide deck, featuring snarky quotes about Cisco’s failed business superimposed over weirdly disjointed screen grabs, cartoons and street art. One slide, which we unfortunately observed while eating breakfast this morning, features a dead bloody crow with a quote from Business Insider on top of it. It was, in brief, relatively nightmare inducing. Mr. Black told us that the photo is supposed to be “shocking,” to keep on theme with some of the shocking business news Cisco has announced in recent years.

So even though WebEx appears to be a floundering business venture for Cisco, why $1? “Why not?” replied Mr. Black. “The $1 is the old school token exchange of value, but then there’s the actual [15 percent] equity offer, which is the real meat on the bone.”

Do you really think Cisco will accept the offer? we asked.

“I think the good news is that the board has to talk about any offer and our expectation is that they’ll have to entertain the conversation,” said Mr. Black. “I think this is a pretty good way to cleanly get WebEx off their books or start a conversation where there can be a real meeting of the minds on what a real offer would look like, if this isn’t it.”

Mr. Black clarified that “this is a very legit offer,” and said Cisco shareholders had already reached out to him this morning saying that a SalesCrunch acquisition “makes total sense.” When asked to clarify who from the public company’s entire shareholder base exactly reached out, Mr. Black wouldn’t name names, and simply said he’s received comments that SalesCrunch is “significantly more advanced, [and the] user base is asking for something else not in the [WebEx] business.” We’re skeptical, but considering the bad blood between Cisco and its shareholders, this potential acquisition isn’t the least likely thing we’ve ever heard.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com