Google Buys Wildfire for $400 Million
Google, the biggest search engine company in the world, apparently has no problem spending extremely large sums of cash, even when faced with the possibility of almost $4 billion in fines. As reported on the official Google blog, the search engine giant recently made another massive acquisition by purchasing Wildfire, a small fledgling social marketing company. Google purchased the company for the tidy sum of $400 million. The news comes as many other social media brands have tried to successfully monetize their web sites and failed.
So Who and What is Wildfire, Anyway?
Wildfire is an online advertising company with four years of history. Their primary goal is to help companies manage social marketing campaigns across many different social media websites, such as Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The startup has attracted some extremely high-profile clients like Sony, Virgin, Spotify, Gilt Group, Cirque du Soleil and Amazon, who rely on Wildfire for services like app development, analytics, videos, page management and social advertising. For now, it seems likely that Google will also acquire Adaptly before long, since Wildfire accesses the Ads API using Adaptly’s services. Google product management director Jason Miller, explained the company’s reasons for the acquisition as such: “In a complex and changing landscape, businesses want to manage and measure these [social media] efforts in an integrated way. We’ve been working towards this end for some time. For example, Google Analytics helps businesses measure the contribution of hundreds of social sites; our Admeld service has helped to serve ads in Facebook developers’ social apps; and our DoubleClick platform enables clients to run and measure ads across social websites. On Google+, brands use services like Vitrue, Buddy Media and others to manage their pages, with many more to come. With Wildfire, we’re looking forward to creating new opportunities for our clients to engage with people across all social services.”
$400 Million Purchase Price?
According to CNN Money, Google is purchasing Wildfire for a sale price of $250 million. However, when you factor in employee retention bonuses and earn-outs, the actual value of the deal is much closer to $400 million. CNN Money also reports that most of the money (or even all of it) will be paid in cash, and predicts a 12.5x to 20x return-on-investment for Wildfire’s venture investors. Today is a good day to be an employee (or owner, or investor) of Wildfire Interactive.