Just months after the acquisition of MuleSoft at $6.5B, Salesforce took another step towards CDP land by announcing plans to acquire customer data platform vendor Datorama.
Salesforce appears to be taking serious steps towards offering a vendor agnostic approach to dealing with customer data. Don't forget the partnership with Google Analytics. Add MuleSoft's integration-enabling capabilities combined with Datorama's three-pronged approach to helping organizations work with customer data (data integrations, insights, activations), and Salesforce is going to give all others a run for their money.
Adobe has to be a little bit annoyed at the precision in these moves made over the last nine months.
Open season on CDPs
When acquisitions in a rising category of marketing technology start getting serious, expect more of the same. A great parallel to take a look at is the great tag management acquisition/convergence period earlier in this decade. 2012 and 2013 martech news was littered with such stories.
Oracle, IBM, and Adobe are all likely acquirers of CDP technology. Salesforce might do it again as niche CDP players grow, whether for the customer base, the employees, or the industry-based focus some of the platforms bring.
An execution-centric customer data platform will be bought by a data-centric customer data platform. That will happen a few times.
The story, abbreviated
Founded in 2012, Datorama exits with over 3,000 customers and ~400 employees. While the sum total is just a fraction of the Mulesoft price, this acquisition is indeed an $800MM investors dream story. Series A in 2013, Series B in 2014, and Series C in 2016 (total for all three: $50MM) plus some initial investments (guesstimate: less than $3MM).
The other side of the story
There are still dozens of other customer data platforms out there.
In a CDP Institute email, David Raab noted that a Walker Sands survey reported "63% of responders said they have a CDP in place." Aside from the inevitable discomfort of having to change out all of the paperwork for software agreements, what does the Salesforce acquisition of Datorama mean to CDP customers/buyers?