VMware’s SlideRocket finds a home with ClearSlide

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SlideRocket, the tool that lets marketing pros build slick multi-media presentations that kill PowerPoint ennui, now has a new home with ClearSlide. VMware bought SlideRocket just under 2 years ago but signaled in December that it would offload it, along with other non-core technologies.

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ClearSlide CEO Al Lieb said that SlideRocket’s content creation technology — which targets marketing departments that need to churn out eye-grabbing presentations — fits nicely with ClearSlide’s more sales-oriented technologies that sell into enterprises.

SlideRocket lets you start with either a blank template or a PowerPoint presentation and then add web animation, video and other perks, Lieb said in an interview. He said that most of the SlideRocket team will join ClearSlide — both are based in San Francisco.

ClearSlide co-founders Al Lieb (right) and Jim Benton.

ClearSlide co-founders Al Lieb (right) and Jim Benton.

SlideRocket claims 1 million individual users while ClearSlide, which sees itself as a more modern and mobile-device-friendly rival to Cisco’s Webex conferencing service,  sells at the corporate level and claims thousands of users. ClearSlide netted $28 million in Series B funding last August.

When VMware bought SlideRocket, it positioned the product as a complement to Zimbra, the email and collaboration software VMware purchased from Yahoo in early 2010. So this deal begs the question: What’s next for Zimbra?

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