The company run by the former CEO of Apple has just acquired one of eBay’s enterprise businesses

John sculley
Zeta Interactive cofounder John Sculley, the former CEO of Pepsi and Apple. Getty Images/Tristan Fewings

Zeta Interactive, the $US1 billion big data and analytics company cofounded by former Apple CEO John Sculley, announced on Tuesday it had acquired eBay Enterprise’s CRM (customer relationship management) division.

Sources told Business Insider the deal was worth between $US80 million and $US90 million, but the company declined to confirm the size of the deal.

Zeta competes with companies like Salesforce, IBM, Oracle, and Adobe. It lets companies input their customer data into its marketing cloud, which uses machine learning to work out the attributes of their audience (things like age, income, age, and interests,) and the system also segments their “best” customers based on its proprietary data. Zeta then analyses that data to send out targeted marketing messages to help attract new customers and provides data to help inform marketers wider marketing plans.

Up until now, the majority — around 70%, — of Zeta’s business came from helping companies acquire new customers. David A. Steinberg, Zeta’s CEO and cofounder, told Business Insider that merging the eBay Enterprise CRM operation will make Zeta a “more balanced organisation,” with about half of its revenue now expected to be associated with customer retention.

EBay Enterprise’s CRM products include a data management platform, an attribution solution, plus a platform that allows companies to thank their best customers and manage their reward programs.

“This is a massive investment. EBay has one of the most incredible CRM user interfaces in the world, and this is game-changing for our platform,” Steinberg added.

David steinberg
Zeta Interactive CEO and cofounder David. A. Steinberg. Zeta Interactive

Steinberg said the deal will mean Zeta will have more than 850 customers, over half of which are in the Fortune 1000 — and it will be adding eBay as a client. At the deal’s close, Zeta will have 20 offices with more than 1,000 employees, across four countries.

Zeta is on track to generate $US200 million in organic revenue this year. The company says it has been “gross profitable” for three years in a row, with margins in the high teens. In July, Zeta raised a $US125 million investment round.

EBay Enterprise was acquired from eBay Inc. by a consortium of private equity firms, led by Sterling Capital and Permira, for $US925 million earlier this year.

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