LinkedIn Will Acquire Business Marketing Company Bizo For $175M

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LinkedIn just announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Bizo, a company that helps advertisers reach businesses and professionals.

LinkedIn says the deal is worth around $175 million — 90 percent cash and 10 percent stock.

Bizo spun out from business directory ZoomInfo back in 2008. It raised a total of $20 million in venture funding (at least as of its Series B two years ago) from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Venrock, and Crosslink Capital. It also raised $12.5 million in debt.

Bizo offers targeting and analytics for display and direct response ads. At the beginning of 2013, the company told me that it brought in $22 million in revenue during the previous year.

In a blog post about the acquisition, LinkedIn’s David Thacker pointed to the growth of business-to-business advertising on LinkedIn, particularly of its Sponsored Updates ad unit. (LinkedIn reported that its Marketing Solutions division brought in $101.8 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2014 — up 36 percent year-over-year.) Bizo’s technology could help LinkedIn improve its offerings.

“It’s our goal to integrate Bizo’s offerings into our content marketing products to become a more powerful tool for brands that want to build stronger relationships with professionals,” Thacker wrote. He also noted that although Bizo will “honor their existing contracts,” LinkedIn does not plan to continue Bizo’s Data Solutions business, and it will not be making its data available to “grandfathered” customers.

LinkedIn also says the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, and that “many members of the Bizo team” will be joining LinkedIn as part of the acquisition.

“It’s exciting for us to bring Bizo’s expertise and technology into our ecosystem,” said Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s senior vice president of of product and user experience, in the acquisition release. “Our ability to integrate their B2B solutions with our content marketing products will enable us to become the most effective platform for B2B marketers to engage professionals.”