August 20, 2014
LinkedIn announced last month that it would acquire business marketing startup Bizo for about $175 million. According to a recently unveiled internal document, the move is the latest step toward the company’s goal of entering the expanding B2B marketing space and turning its marketing solutions products into a $1 billion business by 2017. The Bizo acquisition is part of LinkedIn’s plans to become “the most effective online platform for marketers to engage with professionals.”
“Our long-term ambition is to build an integrated marketing and sales platform that provides a simple and effective way to reach audiences, nurture prospects, and acquire customers,” explains the document.
“Last quarter, LinkedIn reeled in $106 million in revenue from its marketing products, up 44 percent year over year,” reports Business Insider. “Now, though, the company wants to expand beyond its current media and content marketing products to build a B2B marketing platform using its own, and Bizo’s, tools.”
San Francisco-based Bizo, founded by Russell Glass and Donnie Flood, develops tools that help marketers pitch potential customers. According to the document, LinkedIn estimates there is a potential of $50 billion available to those selling tools that help companies market to other firms.
“LinkedIn said in the document that it’s building a broad range of tools to help businesses with their marketing, even as competitors are focused on narrower solutions,” notes Bloomberg. “The company also plans to discontinue Bizo’s data solutions unit, which identifies and tracks sales prospects, shortly after the transaction closes. LinkedIn is primarily interested in Bizo’s products that target business customers by paying to promote content they might be interested in, or by displaying advertising.”