TechTarget Acquires BrightTALK

Technology purchase intent data vendor TechTarget added another arrow to its intent quiver with the acquisition of BrightTALK, a leader in the marketing and virtual events space.  BrightTALK said virtual event attendance has “high predictive value because IT buyers are making a material investment of their time to engage with vendor-produced content.”

The acquisition increases TechTarget’s universe of opted-in professionals.  TechTarget already has over twenty million opted-in business contact records (mostly in technology positions from its 140 enterprise technology sites), and BrightTALK has eight million registered attendees on its media platform.  There is likely to be some overlap in names, but having a second source of opted-in professionals increases the scope of measured intent across TechTarget, BrightTALK, and corporate websites (a KickFire OEM deal).

The acquisition offers substantial cross-selling opportunities in 2021 as vendors continue to focus on virtual events in lieu of face-to-face trade shows and conferences.  Furthermore, “BrightTALK generates a large volume of valuable content in webinar and video format that is incremental to TechTarget’s current offerings.  This content improves TechTarget’s potential ability to attract new users and diversifies the content available via TechTarget’s portfolio of web sites.”

And because both platforms are opted-in, the intent data does not need to be anonymized.  TechTarget can deliver person-level intent data that includes contact information, articles read, webinar sessions viewed, potential competitors, and their stage in the buyer’s journey.  What’s more, these rich intent datasets are GDPR-compliant across both platforms.

“TechTarget’s leadership position in the market is further strengthened by the acquisition of BrightTALK. This acquisition checks all the boxes. It allows us to increase our original content, grow our opt-in audience of registered members, and add a material amount of proprietary first-party purchase intent data. It’s a very powerful combination that will enhance our customers’ abilities to use our purchase intent data to grow their revenues and increase their market share.”

TechTarget CEO Michael Cotoia

“We are excited to join forces with TechTarget. They are the leading provider of original expert content and distributor of vendor decision-support content in the B2B tech market, which has allowed them to develop the preeminent first-party purchase intent offering,” said BrightTALK CEO Paul Heald. “Combining our leading platform for online IT events is a winning combination.”

BrightTALK has over 1,000 customers who created 25,000 webinars and videos over the past year.  The platform generates over 200,000 unique monthly viewers and six million annual content engagements.

BrightTALK also fits with TechTarget’s financial objectives.  It is on track for $50 million in 2020 revenue, with approximately half this revenue under long-term contracts.  TechTarget hit 35% in subscription revenue last quarter but has stated a 50% subscription revenue goal.  With Priority Engine on track for approximately $50 million in 2020 subscription revenue and BrightTALK posting roughly $25 million, the combined pro forma company would generate $75 million in subscription revenues on $195 million in 2020 revenue (Q3 YTD + mid-point Q4 guidance + $50M BrightTALK estimate), or approximately 38 – 39% in contract-based revenue.

BrightTALK has also done well during the pandemic, with revenue on track to grow 30% this year.  It added one million additional opted-in professionals over the past year.

The deal is priced at $150 million, a 3X multiple over projected 2020 earnings.  The cash transaction will close before the end of the year.

BrightTALK has four offices in the US, two in the UK, and two in APAC (Sydney and Singapore).  LinkedIn lists them with 275 employees, a headcount growth of 15% over the past year.

Intent data is the hottest category in B2B data. There have been a series of acquisitions in the space over the past month as vendors look to acquire and integrate data sources. Recent transactions include Zoominfo’s acquisition of Clickagy and Spiceworks Ziff Davis’ purchase of Aberdeen. We have also seen the launch of next generation intent solutions such as D&B Intent and Zoominfo Streaming Intent. Bombora has been working with its partners to launch integrated workflow solutions.

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