LinkedIn — the social network for people looking to connect with others in their professional fields and find work with upwards of 810 million users — has a long-standing business in marketing and advertising on its own platform; today it is announcing an acquisition that could point to its ambitions to provide more analytics and insights across the wider internet. The Microsoft-owned networking platform has acquired Oribi, a Tel Aviv startup that specializes in marketing attribution technology. The deal will see LinkedIn establish its first office in Israel.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed in the blog post announcing the acquisition but sources confirm to us that LinkedIn paid between $80 million and $90 million for Oribi, a figure it seems other outlets are also reporting. As a startup, Oribi had raised just under $28 million in funding, according to PitchBook data, from investors that included Sequoia, TLV Parnters, Ibex and others (including taking a bit of funding from Google as part of a local accelerator run by the search giant).
The deal is interesting on two levels. First, it’s a signal of LinkedIn continuing to invest in its marketing and advertising services, an area that is growing at a fast clip for the company. Chief product officer Tomer Cohen noted in the blog post today that marketing services revenues have grown 43% year-over-year. But with some 57 million businesses “building their brands on Pages” and over 24,000 virtual events being created weekly on LinkedIn, there is clearly lot more growth that can be tapped here if those businesses are given more functionality, and tools to realize that. This is only the second acquisition that LinkedIn has made in recent years to expand that part of the business, the other being acquiring Drawbridge in 2019.
Second, the acquisition of Oribi specifically points to a sea change in what LinkedIn is setting out to do in marketing. Oribi’s mission — as we have described previously — has been to democratize web analytics. In other words, it wants to make it easier for smaller companies to build and run customized analytics to measure the impact of their marketing strategies, something that larger companies might have teams to execute but smaller organizations typically have to forego because they lack the resources.
“A lot of companies are more focused on the high end,” Iris Shoor told TechCrunch previously. “Usually these solutions are very much based on a lot of technical resources and integrations — these are the Mixpanels and Heap Analytics and Adobe Marketing Clouds.”
Notably, Oribi competes with the likes of Google Analytics, which means that now LinkedIn (and by association Microsoft) is also squaring up against one aspect of the formidable Google digital advertising and marketing machine.
“Through the integration of Oribi’s technology into our marketing solutions platform, our customers will benefit from enhanced campaign attribution to optimize the ROI of their advertising strategies,” Cohen wrote today. “This means that our customers will be able to more easily measure website conversions with automated tags and code-free technology, as well as build more effective audiences, all in a way that is privacy-first by design.”
LinkedIn has not specified how many people from Oribi are joining except to note that “several members of the Oribi team, including founder and veteran entrepreneur, Iris Shoor,” are expected to join the bigger company and work out of the new LinkedIn Tel Aviv office.