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Livefyre has been acquired by Adobe, which was confirmed by Livefyre’s chief executive Jordan Kretchmer. Adobe plans to integrate the content curation and audience engagement service into its Experience Manager offering and also make it part of its Marketing Cloud. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed and it’s expected to close within the next few weeks.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Kretchmer said that current iteration of Livefyre will continue on and there won’t be any interruptions in service. Customers will still be able to use its offerings regardless of whether they own an Adobe product. However, there will be a brand name change, but Kretchmer didn’t know what it will be — it’ll be decided likely within the next 3 to 6 months.
“With this acquisition our customers will be able to unify the best social media content with branded experiences created in Adobe Creative Cloud and community-driven content in Adobe Behance and Adobe Stock,” wrote Adobe vice president Aseem Chandra.
As part of the deal, Kretchmer said that “minor restructuring” was done where it had to part with some employees. He declined to provide specifics, saying that those let go have been given opportunities to interview for other roles at Adobe. “The bulk majority of the company will be moving over,” he explained. Livefyre’s team will also be relocating to Adobe’s offices.
— David J Rodriguez (@davidjrodriguez) May 3, 2016
A social media content platform, Livefyre enables brands to search Twitter, Instagram, and other networks for content talking about them, their products, or competitors. Perhaps best known as a commenting platform, it has branched out into producing various tools to give customers the flexibility to not only monitor, but engage and monetize the content being published.
Incorporating Livefyre’s technology into Adobe’s offering will give advertisers and publishers more abilities to produce personalized campaigns, including complete access to the Twitter conversation “firehose” — perhaps even to strengthen the Marketing Cloud’s social media marketing toolkit. The combination of the two companies could give brands the ability to manage both ends of the conversation spectrum, from monitoring to conversion and tracking.
Adobe likely hopes this deal will further distinguish its Marketing Cloud offering from the likes of Salesforce, IBM, Oracle, and Pardot.
Livefyre has raised funds from investors like Salesforce, ff Venture Capital, Cue Ball, Draft Ventures, Greycroft Partners, and U.S. Venture Partners. Even Adobe participated, putting in money during Livefyre’s $32 million series D round.
But that’s not the only relationship that exists between the two. They’ve previously formed a partnership where Adobe Marketing Cloud users could leverage curated social content pulled from Livefyre’s infrastructure.
The acquisition comes months after Livefyre debuted an “engagement cloud” that enabled brands to find relevant social media content around particular conversations, organize around those interactions, and participate in the community. Businesses could see people’s tweets, photos, videos, and chatter around a particular Super Bowl commercial, sporting event, competitor, or even what’s being said about them. Then they could package that up into placements like feature cards, mosaics, carousel displays, live blogs, chats, reviews, polls, and more.
Jordan Kretchmer, the company’s CEO, told VentureBeat then that Livefyre would end 2015 with a 20 percent increase in quarterly bookings and revenue, although he declined to provide specific figures. It has claimed to have more than 650 enterprise customers.
A big part of where Livefyre is today comes from its acquisitions of analytics service Realtidbits and social media aggregator Storify in 2013 — it launched a new version earlier this year. Kretchmer said at one point that he hoped his company would “become the social control center for brands, in that they can find all the tools and resources to manage all of their conversations, both from a proactive to reactive approach.”
But the company wasn’t perfect, as it experienced a small layoff in 2015 after raising its last round of financing. Kretchmer defended the move in November, saying that it was done “proactively after growing very quickly after three years. The company is in a different place and some roles were no longer needed at the company.” He continued to say that this was the result of Livefyre moving towards more automated processes.
We had heard rumors of an acquisition months ago, but when reached for comment, Kretchmer denied that any talks took place between his company and Adobe. We asked him what changed since then and he said that as Livefyre began looking for its next big move, it wanted to see what the next big thing was. And as he contemplated looking at different aspects like social media monitoring or social media listening, he weighted whether it was better to create a broader social suite “one step at a time versus being part of one that’s best of class and has a huge market share where we could add a lot of value.” Obviously he chose the latter.
Livefyre competes with the likes of Echo, Chute, Disqus, and others. It counts customers like FedEx, Nascar, CNN, the PGA, Hallmark, Conde Nast, News Corp., Univision, Motorola, Crayola, and Cisco. Although the acquisition gives the company an exit, it’s a far cry from the initial public offering Kretchmer once hoped for.
Updated at 12:10 p.m. on Tuesday: This post has been updated to include additional comments from Livefyre.
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