Adobe just announced that it is buying marketing automation firm Marketo for $4.75 billion. The deal is Adobe's largest ever and puts the company in more direct competition with Oracle and Salesforce.
Marketo went public in 2011 but was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in May 2016 for about $1.79 billion. Vista is known for its strategy of buying high-growth companies and flipping them for a profit, and this deal with Adobe and Marketo is certainly no exception.
Adobe brings Marketo nearly 5,000 customers and will bolster its portfolio of B2B marketing services. It also gives Adobe an opportunity to increase revenue within its Digital Experience business, which delivered $614 million in revenue for the company's most recent quarter. The Digital Experience segment was also the home for Adobe's $1.68 billion of Magento Commerce back in May.
"We believe the combination of Adobe Experience Cloud's analytics, personalization and content solutions with Marketo's lead management, accountbased marketing and attribution technology will make us the leading platform for all marketers," said Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.
Adobe said the transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. Until then each company will continue to operate independently. Marketo CEO Steve Lucas is set to join Adobe's senior leadership team as part of Adobe's Digital Experience business.
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On a call with analysts, Brad Rencher, EVP and GM of Adobe's Digital Experience business said the deal will help Adobe acquire more customers through targeted, account-based advertising, and improve campaign creation with access to an Marketo's repository of content assets.
Previous and related coverage:
AudienceAI is a new Marketo program that uses Google's infrastructure and AI tools to help marketers expand their targeted audiences.
As part of the deal, Marketo will integrate its Engagement Platform with Google's G Suite and data analytics.
Marketo plans to combine ToutApp's toolset with its ABM and sales insights portfolios.