LinkedIn Buys Business Ad Tech Player for $175 Million

Bizo has b-to-b chops

LinkedIn has purchased business-to-business digital advertising company Bizo for $175 million.

San Francisco-based LinkedIn has been building its ad business while focusing on Sponsored Updates, its fastest-growing ad format that appears in users’ feeds. It also has been drawing more publishers and individuals to post on its professional social network with 300 million users.

"Our ability to integrate [Bizo's] b-to-b solutions with our content marketing products will enable us to become the most effective platform for b-to-b marketers to engage professionals," said Deep Nishar, LinkedIn svp of product and user experience.

Marketers use Bizo's technology to find business-minded audiences online, deliver their messages and measure their effectiveness. In a blog post, LinkedIn's David Thacker said that the company would incorporate Bizo's media and multi-channel products, but not its data business.

"Bizo will honor their existing contracts, but LinkedIn data won’t be made available to their grandfathered customers," Thacker wrote.

LinkedIn will pay 90 percent of the $175 million in cash and the rest in stock, the company said. The social net for professionals and Bizo had been partners for quite some time before the acquisition.

"LinkedIn's mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, while Bizo's is to help b-to-b marketers get to the right people," Bizo CEO Russell Glass said in a blog post announcing the sale of his company. "We realized that our respective missions are incredibly well aligned, and we believe that combining forces will accelerate our ability to execute against the huge opportunities ahead."

This is LinkedIn's second acquisition in as many weeks. Earlier this month, it bought another startup, Newsle, which has technology that notifies users when people and topics they care about are in the news. Newsle added more muscle to LinkedIn's growing publishing tools.

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