SaaS companies have typically relied on Google and Facebook to reach their current audiences as well as new customers, relying on the tech giants’ algorithms, which have sometimes proven to be unpredictable.
Most top-performing SaaS companies have extended growth by boosting their product portfolio, bookings growth, market share, TAM, or talent and technology stack. Shareholder return-based studies suggest that programmatic M&A leads to above average outcomes versus other M&A approaches.
And the latest M&A trend is SaaS companies acquiring media and marketing companies.
In 2019, Robinhood acquired MarketSnacks to improve market news coverage on its platform. This merger resulted in Robinhood Snacks, which offers easy to understand financial news, where top stories shaping the markets are broken down for readers. This includes its newsletter, which promises to inform people “in just three minutes” about the latest financial news, and its daily 15-minute podcast.
Earlier that year, Atlanta-based marketing platform Mailchimp acquired Courier, a small London-based media company focused on educating entrepreneurs and small businesses to help Mailchimp expand internationally.
This year, HubSpot announced that it had acquired The Hustle, the business and tech media startup behind the popular newsletter of the same name. In its press release about the acquisition, HubSpot noted that customers are finding its products through content like its YouTube videos and HubSpot Academy.
“By acquiring The Hustle, we’ll be able to better meet the needs of these scaling companies by delivering educational, business and tech trend content in their preferred formats,” said HubSpot’s senior vice president of marketing Kieran Flanagan in a statement.
And it’s exactly this train of thought that’s spurring a new trend of SaaS companies acquiring media, marketing, and content generating companies. Media companies can focus on pushing out engaging content, particularly at a time when advertising revenue is harder to come by, while the SaaS company behind it gets a new audience and a better understanding of its customers.