From the buyout of Buddy Media by Salesforce to the acquisition of Virtue by Oracle, firms are shelling out big money to own their very own promotional platforms. Now, Bazaarvoice has entered the fray with its eight-figure purchase of Longboard Media.
Providing on-demand software from its Austin-based headquarters, Bazaarvoice has powered the commerce functions for companies like Costco, Dell and Best Buy.
The purchase was made in both cash and stock, with Longboard investors receiving 500k in shares while Bazaarvoice paid $26.9 million upfront. As of November 2, share prices for the platform reached nearly $33 million.
In total, the deal could value at more than $43 million if Longboard achieves the performance goals set out for itself, with $11 million of the additional sum going straight to investors.
The purchase of Longboard coincides with a shakeup in its upper ranks. Stepping down as CEO is co-founder Brett Hurt, who will be replaced by the company’s longstanding CFO Stephen Collins.
This marks Bazaarvoice’s second major acquisition in the span of a year. In May, the company made a $151 million purchase of social commerce players PowerReviews. Subsequent quarterly figures showed a loss of $18.5 million for the new parent, which ultimately sparked the need for an in-house promotional platform.
Some viewed the buyout as an anti-trust move, since PowerReviews had posed the most formidable marketplace competition to its purchaser. The purchase was indeed costly, yet Bazaarvoice has proven itself as a powerful player at mergers and acquisitions; fully capable of withstanding temporary losses. Currently, the company maintains a total market share of $895 million.
Longboard appears to be a lucrative acquisition for its new owner. Founded in 2008 by e-commerce veterans Jim Barkow and Scott Engler, Longboard swiftly rose to the top of the online advertising world. During 2011, the company witnessed a 40 percent growth in its publisher base while securing a $6 million investment from Level Equity.
Over the last four years, Longboard has courted publishers and retailers while implementing the monetization and promotional goals of clients. As of 2012, the San Francisco-based company is linked to more than 100 big-name advertisers, all of whom attract millions of users on a monthly basis.
At over 2,000 strong, the clientele of Bazaarvoice comprises one-fifth of the Fortune 500. The company intends to use the networking features of Longboard to yield stronger business and consumer operations.
With Longboard’s interactive functions, Bazaarvoice can now make it easier for customers to review, rate and post questions and answers on client products. The ultimate goal is to boost sales tenfold while providing better customer tracking and marketing insights for clients.