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RUMOUR: Oracle Could Be Buying Marketing Tech Startup BlueKai For About $US400 Million

BlueKai CEO Omar TawakolBlueKai CEO Omar Tawakol

A source tells us that Oracle is close to making another acquisition: marketing tech startup BlueKai, for around $US400 million.

The rumour is that this deal could be announced as soon as next week.

BlueKai offers a cloud service that allows marketeers to understand who people are as they surf the web. That lets them find the right people to send their ads and offers to. BlueKai is one of the most established players in this field, known as a “data management platform.”

Recently, BlueKai has been working on doing the same with smartphones, allowing marketeers to know that the person who visited a website with an iPhone is the same person who visited with a Mac. That’s actually a tough technical problem to solve.

BlueKai has raised about $US42 million in venture funds with its its biggest, $US21 million round raised in 2010, according to Crunchbase.

It had $US64 million in revenue in 2013, according to Forbes.

Should this deal go through, it would add to Oracle’s growing arsenal of acquired companies that sell technology to chief marketing officers. Marketing tech is shaping up to be the next big trend in enterprise tech spending and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wants to dominate it. Companies spend nearly $US4 trillion a year on technology, mostly through their IT departments. But market researchers predict that by 2017, the CMO will have tech budgets as big or bigger than the chief information officer.

Oracle and rival Salesforce.com have been in a battle to own this new area.

We’ve reached out to BlueKai and Oracle for comment.

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