UPDATED 13:43 EST / JULY 16 2018

salesforce CLOUD

Salesforce to acquire AI marketing startup Datorama for a reported $800M+

Salesforce.com Inc. today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Datorama Inc., a startup with a cloud-based marketing platform used by more than 3,000 organizations.

Some of the companies that rely on the service are PepsiCo Inc., IBM Corp. and Unilever PLC. Datorama’s impressive customer base might help explain the hefty reported price tag of the deal. Two sources told Israeli paper CTech that Salesforce will pay more than $800 million for the startup, which has raised only $50 million in funding. 

The companies didn’t share a timeframe for when the deal will complete. But in a blog post, Datorama Chief Executive Officer Ran Sarig indicated that Salesforce will integrate his startup’s offering into its Marketing Cloud. 

Datorama’s platform acts as a sort of cloud-based analytics hub. The offering can automatically collect data from Google Ads, Facebook and the other channels through which a company engages prospects, as well as popular marketing automation services. Built-in artificial intelligence models then organize the records into a consistent whole.

Marketing teams can use the data they’ve pooled in Datorama to create analytics dashboards. The platform provides a drag-and-drop interface for building reports, as well as features intended to help users interpret the results. A tool called Genius highlights the most important data points and flags opportunities to improve campaign performance.

The technology should complement Salesforce’s Einstein suite of features. It’s a collection of AI capabilities focused on enabling organizations to make better use of their business information, much like Datorama’s platform. Last week, Salesforce expanded the lineup with the launch of new bots designed to improve the productivity of customer support representatives.

The company has also been working to integrate Marketing Cloud with more external services to make it easier for users to access campaign data. This is an area where the Datorama acquisition could prove useful as well, given that the startup claims its platform can plug into more than 500 marketing tools.

If the reported $800-million-plus price tag is accurate, the deal is quite an exit for the startup’s investors. But it’s far from being the largest acquisition that Salesforce has made this year. In March, the company inked a deal to buy software integration provider MuleSoft Inc. for a massive $6.5 billion.

The move came only a week after it picked up e-commerce firm CloudCraze LLC for an undisclosed amount. And then there was Salesforce’s acquisition of Attic Labs Inc. in January, which bought the company a decentralized database optimized for powering collaboration applications. The fact that Salesforce’s recent deals have been so varied underscores how acquisitions continue to be a core part of company’s strategy in many of the segments in which it operates.

Photo: Salesforce

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