A brief history of email service provider mergers and acquisitions

It seems to be harder and harder these days to keep track of who owns who in the email service provider space. Some ESPs such as e-Dialog, Bluehornet and eCircle have changed hands at least 3 times in the last 10 years! 2013 / 2014 was arguably the biggest year for ESP acquisitions with Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe and IBM all buying up the biggest enterprise ESPs. The latest trend seems to be for private equity firms to buy an ESP or two with the aim of merging them with other marketing technologies that can compete with the larger marketing cloud. Strongview merging with Selligent or Bluehornet joining forces with Teradata are both great examples of recent mergers. So, here is a brief history of ESP acquisitions and mergers. I will add to this list as more acquisitions happen so that we can keep track of who owns who.

2003

InfoUSA acquires Yesmail

2004

Experian acquires Cheetahmail

Digital River acquires Bluehornet

2005

Acxiom acquires Digital Impact for $140 million

Lyris Acquires Emaillabs for $24 million

Epsilon acquires BigFoot Interactive for $120 million

2006

Epsilon acquires DoubleClick’s email business for $90 million

2008

GSI Commerce acquires e-Dialog for $157 million

2010

Mansell Group acquires Whatcounts

2011

eBay acquires GSI Commerce (including e-dialog) for $2.4 billion

Emailvision acquires SmartFocus for $40 million

2012

Teradata acquires a German ESP called eCircle

Oracle acquires Eloqua for $810 million

Exacttarget acquires Pardot for $95.5 million

Experian acquires Conversen for undisclosed amount — This product formed the basis of Experian’s new Omnichannel product

Silverpop acquires marketing automation platform CoreMotives

Vocus acquires iContact

2013

Salesforce acquires Exacttarget for $2.5 billion

Adobe acquires Neolane for $600 million

Oracle acquires Responsys for $1.5 billion

Deluxe acquires Vertical Response for $27 million

2014

IBM acquires Silverpop for $275 million

GoDaddy acquires Mad Mimi

2015

Zeta Interactive acquires eBay e-Dialog for undisclosed amount

Aurea acquires Lyris for undisclosed amount

Selligent and Strongview merge

Marlin Equity Partners acquires Bluehornet

Endurance International acquires Constant Contact for $1 billion

Netsuite acquires Bronto for $200 million

Campaigner acquire assets of EmailDirect

2016

Zeta Interactive acquires Acxiom Impact for $50 million — Zeta now owns a few different email marketing platforms

Oracle acquires Netsuite (Including Bronto) for $9.3 billion — Oracle now owns Eloqua, Responsys and Bronto

Marlin Equity Partners acquire marketing applications, including eCircle, from Teradata

Marlin Equity Partners merges Teradata marketing applications and Bluehornet to create Mapp

Vista Equity Partners acquires Marketo for $1.79 billion

2017

Vector Capital acquires 75% of Experian’s email marketing business