October 17, 2013 at 12:17 PM EDT
Oracle Buys Compendium, A Content Marketing Startup, To Build Up Its Arsenal Against Frenemy Salesforce
On the heels of its $871 million acquisition of Eloqua in December 2012 , today Oracle is sailing into another acquisition in the cloud-based marketing space in competition with Salesforce and others. It is buying Compendium , a six-year-old startup that, out of Indianapolis and largely bootstrapped, has managed to build up a business with a number of large clients including CVENT, Gymboree and Trane. The financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed by Oracle but we are still trying to find out.
compendium oracle

On the heels of its $871 million acquisition of Eloqua in December 2012, today Oracle is sailing into another acquisition in the cloud-based marketing space in competition with Salesforce and others. It is buying Compendium, a six-year-old startup that, out of Indianapolis and largely bootstrapped, has managed to build up a business with a number of large clients including CVENT, Gymboree and Trane. The financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed by Oracle but we are still trying to find out.

Prior to this, Compendium had raised some $2.8 million in equity funding and $1 million in debt.

Oracle says Compendium will help it provide services to businesses to better distribute their marketing across the web, including social media platforms, blogs and more. Much like previous acquisitions like Vitrue, this is about Oracle getting deeper into services that are still loosely in the arena of CRM, but are more about helping enterprises better target platforms that potential customers are more likely to use, to complement what they may or may not already be doing with advertising. One estimate pegs this as a $4 billion opportunity annually in the U.S. alone.

“As customers increasingly access information through online and mobile channels, the buying process is shifting from sales-driven to marketing-driven. Now, more than ever, marketers are challenged to deliver relevant and engaging content across multiple channels and throughout the customer lifecycle,” said Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President, Oracle Development, in a statement. “By adding Compendium’s content marketing platform to Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud, customers will be able to capture more prospects, improve the customer experience and drive top line revenue.”

In Compendium’s case, this includes what looks like a WordPress-style blogging platform for both businesses and potentially even their customers to create and post information; as well as the kind of dashboard that you typically see in other social media marketing platforms, letting the business formulate and schedule content, for example for platforms like Twitter.

More strategically, Oracle’s acquisition of Compendium will help it beef up its Eloqua business to compete better against the likes of Salesforce, which has also been acquiring and moving aggressively into this space. The bigger picture is that it wants to have as complete an offering as possible in its vision to be a one-stop shop for all cloud-based customer-relationship and sales services. This is the pic from the company’s presentation on the deal:

Salesforce’s ExactTarget acquisition for $2.5 billion earlier this year now forms the basis of the company’s marketing cloud services, which is the centerpiece of much of that business.

And here’s a funny twist: until just a couple of minutes ago, ExactTarget was also listed here as a Compendium customer — now it’s gone. Still, given that Salesforce and Oracle are these days actually fast-frenemies, maybe this isn’t as odd as it might sound.

Oracle, in a presentation to shareholders, says the acquisition has already closed.


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