In Adobe’s $4.75B Acquisition of Marketo, a Signal for Marketing Tech

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Tech giant Adobe announced Thursday it is buying marketing-software firm Marketo for $4.75 billion. The move may have a ripple effect on the realm of enterprise sales and marketing.

Marketo, based in San Mateo, CA, was founded in 2006 and built its business on marketing automation—using software to track and manage potential customers’ interactions with a company. The firm had an IPO in 2013 and was bought out by Vista Equity Partners for $1.79 billion in 2016 (not a bad turnaround for Vista here).

San Jose, CA-based Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) is moving more deeply into enterprise commerce, sales, and marketing. The company, best known for Photoshop and other consumer-facing tools, acquired e-commerce firm Magento for $1.68 billion back in May.

Enterprise marketing and sales tech has become a more crowded field in the past decade. Other major players include Oracle (which bought Eloqua in 2012), Salesforce (which acquired ExactTarget in 2013), HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS), Drift, and ThriveHive on the small-business end.

The Adobe-Marketo deal could affect all of these companies, and more, as other tech giants (see Microsoft) look to expand in the field. We’ll be watching for more consolidation and reactions from the marketing-tech community.