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Is Adobe gearing up to buy Marketo?

Is Adobe gearing up to buy Marketo

Adobe, the multinational computer software company, which carved out its name with image-editing programme PhotoShop, is rumoured to be in talks to acquire Marketo, a privately-held cloud marketing software group.

If the rumours are true – which were originally reported by Reuters and are unconfirmed by each company – Marketo’s purchase price would likely be in the multiple billions. Vista Equity Partners paid $1.8bn for the company in 2016 and a new deal on the table would likely be worth significantly more.

Adobe’s strength in its digital media business, which houses its flagship product Creative Cloud, has seen it top analysts’ expectations for the last two years. It has now begun to leverage this growth to diversify its offering into marketing and e-commerce, and while it’s both developing and earning fast here, it still has a lot more to give.

The inherited tech would be a huge boon for Adobe’s own endeavours with cloud marketing software Experience Cloud, equipping it with applications for B2B marketing and putting it in better stead to take on competitors such as Salesforce, Microsoft and Oracle.

In May this year, the group acquired e-commerce services provider Magento for just short of $1.7bn, representing its biggest acquisition in close to a decade, and a move that bolstered Experience Cloud’s offering of centralised data analytics, advertising and marketing content to B2B and B2C customers.

With the industry becoming increasingly competitive, a bid from Adobe for Marketo would cement the company as a forerunner in enterprise marketing automation. Marketo would give Adobe a leader in the marketing automation space at the enterprise customer level, particularly in the B2B space.

Adobe is reported to have sizeable funds to secure the deal, and would be another landmark in marketing tech consolidation this year. Among others, Salesforce snapped up cloud-based AI company Datorama in July for $800m, while Zendesk bought out marketing automation platform Base for an undisclosed amount in mid-September 2018.


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