Acxiom acquires data onboarding startup LiveRamp

The newfound team said that combined they create an ecosystem capable of reaching more than 99 percent of the adult U.S. population with targeted messages.


Data services giant Acxiom gave a serious boost to its offline-to-online data capabilities Wednesday as it announced its acquisition of LiveRamp for $310 million.

With specialities in data onboarding, LiveRamp brings Axciom a customer base of more than 200 top-tier brands, and an expansive partner network that allows its technology to integrate with a range of marketing technologies.

The newfound team has no shortage of confidence, either. According to the announcement of the acquisition, the two companies combined create an ecosystem capable of reaching more than 99 percent of the adult U.S. population with targeted messages. 

LiveRamp has been one of the main players in the lesser-known data-onboarding space, but its technology has garnered it significant clout. The San Francisco-based startup is known for unlocking data from CRM systems and other applications. The basic premise of the technology enables marketers to match offline databases to online data – a key element necessary for measuring the impact of digital advertising efforts. 

The utilization of offline data is becoming a red-hot in the enterprise, with companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook all snapping up players with similar capabilities to LiveRamp.

Acxiom CEO Scott Howe called the deal "a win for the entire marketing industry," and said the goal of the combined companies is to "deliver one-to-one marketing at scale." He signaled that they will be accelerating growth of the platform globally, most specifically in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The LiveRamp deal came at the same time Acxiom reported its fourth quarter earnings. Axciom beat analyst estimates, clocking in EPS of 24 cents on a revenue of $277 million. Wall Street was expecting EPS of 20 cents on a revenue of $278 million.

Howe reflected on the fiscal year in prepared remarks:

Fiscal 2014 was a year of innovation and transformation. We successfully launched our Audience Operating System and We tightened our operating focus through the separation of our business units and the exit of our analog paper survey business in Europe. And today, we announced our proposed acquisition of LiveRamp, a leading solution for connecting customer data across marketing applications. Looking ahead to 2015, our focus will be on growing our AOS user base, while continuing to innovate and invest in our product portfolio.