Lots of acquisition activity in the Atlanta startup world recently.
Vitrue purchased by Oracle for a reported $300 million (too low).
BLiNQ Media bought by Gannett for a reported $90 million (too high).
Pardot gobbled up by Exact Target for what seems to be an accurately reported $95 million (about right).
Nice wins for all. Three nice wins for the Atlanta marketing technology cluster. Major props to the entrepreneurs that started these ventures and the teams that made it happen.
In his article announcing the Pardot deal, David Cummings talks about the importance of culture fit in acquisitions. He is right. Many acquistions fail for lack of culture alignment. They also fail for lack of integration execution and other more preverse motivations that come into play.
I am fairly confident that Reggie, Dave, and David are going to do everything they can to make these deals a success for the companies that acquired them. I am also fairly confident that they and some of their early employees will be exiting in the not too distant future. From what I hear some maybe sooner than others. Truth be told entrepreneurs and people that work for startups don’t get along real well in 1,000 employee companies. If they did they would not have been working at a startup in the first place.
It reminds me of the advice that I used to personally give to every entrepreneur.
If somebody offers you a lot of money for your company you take it. You take the money and you leave. Leave as soon as you can while sticking to your commitments to the acquiring company and the people that work for you.
Build something of value. Leave when someone buys it.
Rinse and repeat.