Alibaba‘s workplace communication platform DingTalk has completed the wholly-owned acquisition of wolai, a collaborative work tool developer. Once the acquisition is completed, wolai’s production and research team will be made into regular employees of DingTalk, and the customer service team will be transferred to Alibaba‘s outsourcing team, 36Kr reported.
On March 5, several core team members of wolai have withdrawn from the list of shareholders. The legal person of the company has become Ye Jun, the president of DingTalk, and the company is now 100% controlled by Alibaba. DingTalk said that the wolai team will be responsible for the research and development of intelligent collaborative documents and the design of personal documents.
The personal document is a lightweight version of DingTalk for individual users. In addition, Alibaba‘s DAMO Academy is reportedly developing ChatGPT-like dialogue robots, and may eventually combine its AI large model technology with DingTalk’s tools.
Wolai, as a collaborative work platform, was established in June 2020. The founder is Ma Ruila, who once served as the co-founder of a real estate information platform, and participated in the establishment of Eweiqu.com, an e-commerce platform, in 2012.
The company is particularly known for its note-taking products. On a blank canvas, users can freely combine words, tables, pictures, audio and video elements according to their needs. The product integrates real-time collaboration, sharing and storage, which enables enterprises and individuals to build their own information base and workflow. In 2020, wolai received tens of millions of yuan of financing from Ceyuan Ventures.
As far as DingTalk is concerned, the acquisition of wolai is intended to enrich its capability to cope with an increasingly fierce and competitive market.
A senior insider of the collaborative work tool industry said, “DingTalk realized that documents are an unavoidable module. Documents seem to be easy, but it is actually difficult to do well to create an excellent user experience.” As early as October, 2021, DingTalk announced its strategic shift from large-scale to deep-value. Ye previously said that it is necessary to polish and strengthen the company’s product experience.