Intuit Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Demandforce, a San Francisco-based company whose Software as a Service product is designed to automate marketing and customer communications for small to midsize businesses.

Demandforce’s email, mobile and social tools, such as online reviews, are designed to help SMBs better communicate with their customers and drive higher retention and growth in their businesses.

The cash transaction, valued at approximately $423.5 million, is expected to close in May 2012 and is subject to the expiration of applicable regulatory waiting periods and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

While specific plans for Demandforce within Intuit’s ecosystem remain to be seen, Intuit attributes the buy to Demandforce’s ability to create tools that enable SMBs to engage and retain their existing customers through features like appointment reminders, email marketing campaigns, surveys and reviews.

“Demandforce’s mission to help small businesses is consistent with Intuit’s; to save time, acquire customers, and make money,” said Kiran Patel, executive vice president and general manager of the Intuit Small Business Group. “Demandforce’s SaaS delivery model is also well aligned with Intuit’s Connected Services strategy, which is built on meeting the needs of small business by offering online services that are available anytime, anywhere.”

Further details of the transaction are expected once the deal is finalized.

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