Cloud-computing pioneer Salesforce.com is close to a deal to acquire Buddy Media, the five-year-old company that helps brands manage their Facebook presence.
Sources say the two companies have agreed to terms that will value Buddy Media at more than $800 million but that the transaction hasn’t closed yet. People familiar with the deal say Buddy Media chose Salesforce’s offer over a competitive bid from Google.
Salesforce boasts more than 100,000 customers that utilize its cloud computing services. Adding a social media element could help bolster its core business management services. New York based Buddy Media specializes in helping big companies manage their Facebook pages and ads. Giant advertising holding company WPP is an investor and also uses Buddy Media for all of its Facebook-ad buying. Recently, it has expanded to other social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
The Buddy media clientele currently are well-known brands as HP, Mattel, L’Oreal, Carnival, and Virgin Mobile and promises on its site to “turn fans and followers into real connections.”
Buddy Media’s services include setting up an interactive profile for clients, publishing and moderating content across social networks, creating and deploying socially-enabled content across the web and creating and tracking social activity from a customer’s first click on a website to when they make a purchase.
It appears that Salesforce intends to use Buddy Media to extend its core customer relationship management offering. The presumable logic: Acquiring Buddy Media will help Salesforce’s clients reach their customers and leads where they are spending lots of online time. Last year, Salesforce bought Radian6, another social media platform company for $326 million.
Salesforce.com isn’t the only big enterprise software company chasing social media: Last week, Oracle had bought Virtue which specializes in social media marketing.
Buddy has raised $90 million from SoftBank Capital, Greycroft Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, European Founders Fund, Bay Partners, WPP, GGV Capital, Insight Venture Partners, and a number of high-profile angels including Peter Thiel and Mark Pincus.
Buddy recently hired ex Salesforce Executive Susan St. Ledger as President.
April 22, 2013, 5:55 am UTC
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