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Jul 16, 2018

Salesforce buys Datorama as marketing battle with Adobe heats up

Salesforce.com office in San Francisco

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Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM.N), a cloud-based applications software company, is buying Datorama Inc. in an effort to boost its analytics capabilities and compete against rivals like Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE.O) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL.N).

The companies didn’t announce terms of the deal in separate statements Monday. But Israeli news site Calcalist reported Salesforce is offering more than US$800 million in cash, citing unidentified people familiar with the transaction.

Datorama provides cloud-based, artificial intelligence-powered marketing software for companies including PepsiCo (PEP.O), Ticketmaster, Unilever (UN.N) and Foursquare. The New York-based company, founded in 2012 by Ran Sarig, Katrin Ribant, and Efi Cohen, has previously integrated its software into Alexa, Amazon’s (AMZN.O) voice-activated assistant.

Shares of Salesforce were little changed, 147.56 at 11:01 a.m. ET.



As Salesforce’s core sales cloud has saturated the customer-relationship management tool market, which it dominates, the San Francisco-based company has sought to drive growth in other areas, including marketing. The company bought ExactTarget in 2013, which is the center of Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud. Ever since, it’s been battling Adobe and Oracle to become the definitive tool for marketers trying to understand how best to sell products and services in a fickle digital landscape. 

For Salesforce, the acquisition of Datorama is meant to bolster the company’s data analytics capabilities, so it can provide more useful insights to marketers as they target customers. The purchase will provide Salesforce "with expanded data integration, intelligence and analytics, enabling marketers to unlock insights across Salesforce data and the myriad of technologies used in today’s marketing and consumer engagement ecosystem," Datorama Chief Executive Officer Sarig wrote in a company blog post.