Business software giant Oracle announced its second acquisition of the year, saying it will acquire BlueKai, which specializes in managing marketing data. Oracle didn’t disclose the price, but Business Insider pegged it at around $400 million.
BlueKai had raised about $42 million in venture capital funding from Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and GGV Capital.
BlueKai is one of the biggest players in behavioral targeting and maintains a warehouse of data on about 700 million people. Some 300 companies use its data to personalize marketing campaigns on the Web and mobile devices. If your company is trying to reach a particular kind of user in its marketing efforts, there’s a pretty good chance you’re using BlueKai’s data.
The deal is important for another reason. It’s getting Oracle, long a player in the meat-and-potatoes side of business software — manufacturing operations and human resources, for example — squarely in the advertising tech business. BlueKai is Oracle’s third acquisition in the area of marketing software. Last year it spent $1.5 billion to acquire Responsys, an email marketing outfit. And in 2012 it acquired Eloqua for $871 million.
It’s not the only one buying these companies up. Oracle rival Salesforce.com has been aggressively buying companies in order to build out what it calls its “marketing cloud.” The biggest of these was ExactTarget, for which Salesforce paid $2.5 billion. Before that it acquired BuddyMedia for $745 million.