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In Power Move for B2B Ad Dollars, LinkedIn to Acquire Bizo for $175M

Deal Puts LinkedIn in Position to Take a Cut of Ad Spend Across the Web

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LinkedIn became the latest social-networking company to jump into the ad-tech feeding frenzy.

The professional network of over 300 million users announced Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire b-to-b ad-tech company Bizo for approximately $175 million. Around 90% of the money will be delivered in cash, according to a post on LinkedIn's site.

LinkedIn's move follows Facebook's acquisition of video ad-tech platform LiveRail earlier this month and Twitter's acquisition of mobile ad-tech company TapCommerce at the end of June.

These moves by the major social-media companies are meant to cement their ability to sell ads across the internet, not just within their own networks.

Bizo allows b-to-b marketers to run ads to professional audiences throughout the web. The company has deep integrations with marketing-automation platforms and a trove of data that helps marketers target by parameters such as company, industry and functional area.

A slide posted by LinkedIn to slideshare made little secret of LinkedIn's ambition, listing media solutions and multi-channel among the capabilities that LinkedIn will integrate into its portfolio.

The move won't be totally bloodless though, with layoffs expected on the Bizo side. "Following closing, many members of the Bizo team are expected to join LinkedIn," the announcement said. Following its posting, Bizo director of marketplace development Frannie Danzinger tweeted: "LinkedIn to acquire Bizo. I'M FOR HIRE!" When asked if Bizo would be making staff cuts, she replied affirmatively.

Bizo CEO Russ Glass did not immediately respond to a request for interview. LinkedIn declined to comment.

The deal, according to LinkedIn, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

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