Startups Venture

LinkedIn Snaps Up Drawbridge, Its Second Known Acquisition In 8 Months

LinkedIn just acquired its 22nd-known company: Drawbridge. The smaller company will integrate with LinkedIn’s marketing services.

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The move jumps off of LinkedIn’s own growth in providing marketing tooling, according to the company’s blog post. LinkedIn claims that its “Marketing Solutions” business “accelerated” to 46 percent growth recently. (LinkedIn’s revenue grew a slimmer 27 percent in its most recent fiscal quarter.)

Drawbridge helps companies better understand their customers using machine learning. It addresses user-focused issues like customer experience, digital security, and risk detection according to its website. The company, led by Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan has also been recognized for its focus on consumer identity, was awarded an early patent for identity resolution.

LinkedIn plans to use Drawbridge’s strength in the area of observations around customers to better target professional audiences, it says.

In a comment to Crunchbase News, Menlo VenturesMatt Murphy, who co-led the company’s Series A while at Kleiner Perkins, said that he was “very excited for Kamakshi and the Drawbridge team to be joining forces with LinkedIn.” He went on to call the Drawbridge story “a particularly rewarding journey,” saying that there were “many lessons to be learned in grit and perseverance of a strong technologist, turned entrepreneur, turned impressive leader and well-known industry exec[utive],” in reference to Sivaramakrishnan.

Murphy was a Drawbridge board member through the acquisition.

Drawbridge raised just under $69 million during its life as a private company, including capital from both Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins (the famous duo which invested in Google during its youth). After a normal-looking Series A, B, and C run, the company seemed to have slowed; its later 2017 and 2018 investments were smaller than preceding rounds.

That it sold to LinkedIn after seemingly losing steam as an independent company is, therefore, a possibly welcome result for the firm and its backers who have stood behind it for around seven years.

See the graph below for the known acquisitions LinkedIn has made over time:

After an active 2015 and 2016, LinkedIn’s acquisition pace has slowed. It seems that Microsoft buying the company stilled its appetite for smaller companies. LinkedIn only acquired one company in each of 2017 and 2018 (more here). Drawbridge is its first known startup purchase of 2019.

Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in mid-2016 for $26.2 billion. This is the fourth startup that the career-building website has acquired since being bought by Microsoft. It reportedly paid $400 million for its more recent acquisition prior, Glint.

LinkedIn declined to provide a dollar-value for the deal.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias