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LinkedIn acquires Drawbridge to bolster its marketing and advertising offerings

LinkedIn has acquired Drawbridge, a well-funded San Francisco-area startup that uses artificial intelligence to learn more about customers and target audiences.

In a blog post, the Microsoft-owned company said it would integrate Drawbridge into LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, its advertising and marketing tools division. LinkedIn’s marketing arm is growing at a 46 percent annual clip, according to the blog post, compared to 27 percent year-over-year revenue growth for LinkedIn as a whole in the most recent quarter.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Drawbridge’s technology will “accelerate” LinkedIn’s ability to help its customers reach and understand their target audiences. LinkedIn said it will “continue to maintain the strong controls our members and customers have over the data they choose to share with us.”

Drawbridge had raised a total of $69 million since 2011 from top investors such as Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins. It is led by Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, a former senior research scientist at AdMob, which was acquired by Google in 2010. The company counts tech giants such as Salesforce, Adobe, IBM and Oracle as customers.

“Our graph combines billions of customer touchpoints with a breadth and depth of online and offline interactions you won’t find anywhere else,” its website reads. “Add your customer data to the mix, and Drawbridge’s patented AI enriches and completes your data to show you your customers with unmatched clarity.”

Drawbridge’s competitors include Tapad; Lotame; Seattle-based Amperity; and others.

Per CrunchBase, the acquisition is LinkedIn’s 22nd overall and the fourth since it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 for $26.2 billion. LinkedIn’s last acquisition was Glint, at a reported purchase price of $400 million.

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