Marketo, a marketing automation firm, has just acquired Crowd Factory, a start-up that creates social marketing applications, on Wednesday morning. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but it is Marketo's first ever acquisition.
Marketo, which is in the same space as Eloqua and Silverpop, created software and services that help manage sales lead generation through email, site optimization and several other means. Crowd Factory is focused on optimizing social media campaigns, monitoring social-analytics viewing the virility of Facebook Pages, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds, landing pages, websites, banner ads and emails.
As more businesses spend an increasing amount of time and resources on social media, the demand for metrics and monitoring has grown, thus the drive in Crowd Factory's clientele. The young startup has worked with companies such as HBO, Jive, Molson Coors, Sony, Speck and Universal McCann.
While Marketo is busy with lead generation and email tracking, Crowd Factory could be that missing piece, watching the social media arm of companies and campaigns to see how effective they are in driving traffic, name recognition and lead generation.
With Marketo soon debuting a new unified product family, which integrates social campaign management, this acquit ion timing seems like quite the lead in. The company says that customers have seen as much as a 40% improvement in revenue from using its marketing platform.
Last year Marketo revenue was in somewhere in the $35 million range, and the company anticipated that the sales will double that in 2012. Marketo and competing marketing automation firms like Eloqua, Pardot, and Silverpop offer software and services focused on improving and managing sales lead generation. But now with its buy of Crowd Factory, Marketo says it will have an edge on its competition by embracing social marketing, much of which is business-to-consumer rather than business-to-business where Marketo mostly plays.
San Mateo, Calif.-based Marketo was founded in 2006 and has raised a substantial $107 million in total funding to date. Its last funding occurred in November, with a $50 million round raised from Battery Ventures, with participation from Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), InterWest Partners, Mayfield Fund, and Storm Ventures. Insiders have been expecting Marketo to be on the road in IPO in the year to 18 months and with noticeable acquisitions just starting, it seems about right.
Last September, one lead-generation company Mintigo secured $9 million second round of funding from Sequoia Capitol. This leading provider of sales leads and customer acquisition, Mintigo uses Internet profiling data to match potential customers with companies.
Mintigo recently competed in IBM's SmartCamp Israel. Mintigo is one of five finalists to continue competition this week in the Israeli branch of the competition, with the winner headed to the worldwide U.S. finals at the beginning of 2012.
With offices in the U.S., Israel, and Spain, Mintigo means to use said funding to expand their presence in their U.S. ventures. Mintingo could not be reached for immediate comment.