HubSpot Goes Shopping Again, Buys Two Small Startups

3/28/13Follow @curtwoodward

HubSpot said it would spend some of its new $35 million in investment cash on acquisitions, and today it’s making good on that pledge.

The Cambridge, MA-based marketing software company says it has purchased Toronto-based Chime and New Haven, CT-based PrepWork. Chime made a browser plug-in that pulls together social media feeds, while PrepWork’s product synchronizes work e-mails and calendars.

No deal terms were disclosed, but this is a pretty clear talent buy—the employees are going to relocate to Cambridge to work on HubSpot product development, and HubSpot doesn’t have concrete plans to continue the startups’ products on their own.

In a press release, CEO Brian Halligan says this should be “the first of several acquisition announcements as we continue to expand on our commitment to transforming the landscape of modern marketing.”

That transformation, as HubSpot sees it, has to do with tying together all of the Web marketing stuff that a company might currently handle in a bunch of separate software programs: e-mail, blogging, lead generation, and so on.

The company has been growing fairly quickly, and been pretty boisterous about it. Halligan recently reported that HubSpot’s sales grew 82 percent to $52.5 million in 2012, and the company’s executives have been unabashed about saying they want to take the company public soon.

There appears to be some market appetite for this kind of thing. Marin Software, which sells online advertising software, raised $105 million in an IPO last week (NYSE: MRIN). Marin’s specific business is different from HubSpot’s, but its revenues were similar, with nearly $60 million in sales for 2012.

Here’s where we also insert the usual disclaimer that private companies talking about going public can often be snapped up in an acquisition before the IPO actually happens. In either case, it appears that HubSpot and its investors—the company has raised some $100 million in private financing since being founded in 2006—are headed for a sale.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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