Oracle agrees to buy big data marketing platform BlueKai

Omar Tawakol

Omar Tawakol

BlueKai, which operates a large repository of customer data that allows advertisers to better target messages to specific audiences, has agreed to be acquired by Oracle. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though AdExchanger pegs it at $350 million to $400 million, and notes that IBM and Salesforce.com also were sniffing around the startup.

BlueKai actually started in Seattle in 2007 under the direction of former Medio and AudienceScience executive Omar Tawakol, but he moved to Cupertino in 2010 where the product teams were based.

“I am a bit of a geek at heart, and so having more face time and casual time with the engineers to kind of think through product and product design was pretty crucial to us,” Tawakol said at the time of the move to Silicon Valley.

The company has maintained a Seattle office at 720 3rd Avenue, though it was unclear how many people were working there at the time of the acquisition. (We’ve reached out to Oracle for more details). It employed 80 people in May 2011, and now boasts 300 customers. UPDATE: Oracle declined to comment on BlueKai’s employee count.

oracle-bluekaiBlueKai raised $21 million in venture funding in 2010, when it was still located in Seattle. Backed by Battery Ventures and Redpoint, that round brought total funding to about $35 million.

“As a leader in marketing data management, BlueKai’s innovative products convert fragmented and disparate marketing data into high-performance results for companies,” said Tawakol said in a press release.  “We are thrilled to join Oracle and extend Oracle’s Customer Experience portfolio to include the industry’s most effective big data cloud platform for marketers.”

BlueKai will be integrated with Responsys — a marketing software company which Oracle bought for $1.39 billion last December— and Eloqu — which Oracle bought for about $810 million in 2012. With those other pieces in place, Oracle will now allow organizations to build “personalized customer interactions across all marketing activities and channels,” the companies said in a release. Together, Oracle said they will operate the “world’s largest Marketing Cloud to manage and execute marketing activities across all channels and stages of the customer lifecycle.”

  • Paul Uhlir

    Huge congrats to Grant, Omar and the team. You guys deserve every penny. You worked your asses off for it. Well done.

  • http://www.ericthoreson.com/ Eric Thoreson

    Ditto what Paul said! Really happy for Grant, etc.

  • Derek Streat

    Congrats Grant & Omar. You guys created real value.

  • John Branch

    Congratulations Grant and Omar!