Adobe, the San Jose, California-based software giant, is acquiring the social-media curation platform Livefyre.
The dance between the two companies began during the middle of last year, when Adobe invested in the San Francisco startup, which was founded in 2009 by entrepreneur Jordan Kretchmer. The two became partners, with Adobe integrating some of Livefyre's content streams into its "experience manager," a website-building tool.
By the end of last year, it was clear the partnership was helping both companies soar. "Their customer interest in it was through the roof, and for us it was just a great new customer stream," Kretchmer said.
The companies' sales teams started working together to close deals. Brands such as Coca-Cola and Australia.com that already used Adobe could simply turn on Livefyre and be instantly connected to an additional content stream on their websites. Previously, to include Livefyre's content streams on their websites, brands and news organizations needed to go through a back-end integration process.
Adobe's massive brand-marketing and website-building business brought in about $1.3 billion last year, according to Re/code. The acquisition of Livefyre could help it attract new clients and offer an additional slate of services to existing brand customers.
Livefyre had nearly $70 million of venture funding from four separate rounds of investment. In Silicon Valley terms, the timing for this acquisition was just right.
Kretchmer, who founded Livefyre six years ago, spent the beginning of his career in broadcast and online media. Within Adobe, he will become senior director and general manager of Livefyre. But the name "Livefyre" is going to change within about three to six months. "So I'll be GM of whatever we end up calling it!" Kretchmer joked.
He said he is not allowed to discuss any terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the coming weeks.
The majority of Livefyre's more than 100 employees will join Adobe, though a pre-sale restructuring means not all will. Livefyre's San Francisco employees will move to Adobe's nearby office, and its smaller New York City team will move their desks to Adobe's Times Square office.
Is Kretchmer celebrating his success? Not quite yet.
"These things don't happen suddenly. It's this long process of going through these milestones, and then suddenly all the milestones are complete," he told Inc.com. "You don't get to print out a dossier and scribble on it with a felt pen."
"Still," he said, "It's my first acquisition, so it's been really interesting to go through."