Liferay, a digital experience platform provider, recently acquired a controlling interest in Triblio, an ABM company. Liferay also committed to an ongoing investment in Triblio’s ABM programs, although the companies will continue to operate independently. In an exclusive interview with Demand Gen Report, Triblio CEO Andre Yee shared details about how the acquisition came about and what it means for the company and its customers. He also weighed in on whether more mergers and acquisitions among ABM solution providers may be on the horizon in 2019.
Demand Gen Report: How did the Liferay acquisition come about?
Andre Yee: We started looking at financing and had multiple offers. We talked to a number of different strategic investors and then the opportunity to partner up with Liferay was presented to us. We took it because, fundamentally, we really believed it was the best option for the company, but also for the customers. Part of the driver behind that is we wanted to accelerate growth of our business significantly in the area of product development and customer success. This investment allows us to do this. In fact, we expect to double both of these groups in the next 12 months. We’ve already invested substantially in them and will continue to do so.
Accelerating the growth of our business was really the primary driver behind the acquisition. We also wanted to extend our market reach in two ways. This investment and just having Liferay’s support allows us to enter the enterprise market more aggressively. We actually have a number of very successful enterprise customers today. We have a track record where we know we can be successful with enterprise customers and we’re a very compelling option, but this allows us to pour fuel on that particular sector — to get there with scale immediately.
The other part that will follow along is getting into international markets faster. It’s probably a 2019 thing, but Liferay has 24 offices worldwide in 18 different countries. They have an immediate channel we can tap into, so we’re excited about that too. I think we’ve been fairly successful here and being able to expand our business is part of what makes this really compelling for us.
You might ask ‘what does the phrase controlling interest mean?’ It means that we’ll continue to operate independently, and our brand will still be out there. We will continue as both a brand and as a market, but simply with more investments so we can go faster and serve our customers better. We’re really excited about that because we’ll have the independence but with more backing and more channel access.
DGR: Can you tell us what this means in terms of future products and expansion for Triblio’s offerings?
AY: There are a lot of other places we want to grow. For instance, we want to incorporate intent data and we’re going to enhance our sales orchestration with other sales tools in that ecosystem. We have an intense AI-driven scoring module that we have been working on and we really just want to get more juice behind that and get that out sooner.
One of the other things that made it compelling for us to partner up with Liferay is the cultural fit within both companies. That’s really important. I’ve been part of seven or eight different acquisitions — I’m not sure, I’ve lost count. Half of them were acquiring and the other half were being acquired, so I know how important cultural fit is. Both Liferay and Triblio have a focus on customer success, as well as a positive workforce culture. That’s really important to us; it’s not just another thing we throw in. We believe that’s what drives us to serve our customers well.
DGR: What do you expect in 2019 and beyond when it comes to acquisitions and mergers for ABM solution providers?
AY: It’s hard to predict. I don’t know what the outcome will be for the broader market, but I do think that ABM is a very exciting space and I think that it will evolve into the next generation B2B marketing platform. By the time it’s said and done, it will be much more than the ABM platforms we know today. Along the way, will a lot of the players get acquired? That very well might be the case. It’s hard to glance into a crystal ball.
This relationship is the right relationship for us because it allows us to maintain our independence as an operating entity, but still get the backing we need to really take on the market and grow even faster than we’ve already grown today. Besides growing the product development and customer success teams, it’s really about extending our market reach both to the enterprise market, as well as to international markets.