Google agreed to buy social agency Wildfire Interactive for about $250 million plus performance incentives, the latest in a string of deals as advertising and enterprise giants look to add social to their core offerings.
Founded in 2008 with a seed grant from Facebook's fbFund and Gary Vaynerchuk, Wildfire has raised a little more than $14 million and has counted Virgin, Sony, Ogilvy, Verizon, Unilever and Amazon as clients. Co-founders Victoria Ransom and Alain Chuard will join Google as part of the deal.
It's the latest in a string of deals in the space including Salesforce's acquisition of Buddy Media and Radian6; Oracle's acquisition of Vitrue and Involver; and Syncapse's acquisition of Clickable, making Wildfire one of the last remaining big social agencies left.
The move represents the latest addition to Google's ad technology stack built on DoubleClick, and subsequently created through acquisitions such as Admeld, Teracent, Invite Media and others led by former DoubleClick exec Neal Mohan. It also means Google will be in the business of funneling ad dollars to Facebook, as well as other social platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and concievably Google+ as well.
In a blog post, Google product manager Jason Miller said the deal is about offering social services to businesses. "People today can make their voices heard in ways that were previously impossible, and Wildfire helps businesses uphold their end of the conversation (or spark a new one)," he wrote.