Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Adobe Adds Another $400 Million to Its Ad Business Shopping Spree

Last month, Adobe said it was buying search marketing firm Efficient Frontier, but didn’t disclose a purchase price. Yesterday, it came clean: The deal will end up costing around $400 million.

That brings the price tag for Adobe’s two-year ad business shopping spree to $2.4 billion. The bulk of that comes from Adobe’s 2009 acquisition of Omniture for $1.8 billion; it has also recently picked up Auditude and Demdex.

Adobe’s appetite for ad technology has been good news for a handful of investors who have been betting on the sector. In the case of Efficient Frontier, the deal is a big win for Mitsui & Co., Redpoint Ventures and Cambrian Ventures, who put less than $15 million into the start-up.

But while lots of VC cash has gone into ad tech in the past few years, there haven’t been a ton of big exits.

Beyond Adobe, the only other active buyer has been Google. And industry executives say that some ad tech firms looking for more funding are having trouble getting the dollars they want.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik