In 2016, African-American billionaire Robert F. Smith, founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, made a big bet by paying $ 1.8 billion for Marketo cloud services company. Well, this bet has paid off a lot … because it just sold Marketo to Adobe Systems, Inc. for $ 4.75 billion, which allowed it to make a profit of about $ 3 billion – the most significant profit earned by a single company over the last 20 years.
Former investment banker to Goldman Sachs, the first to focus on technology mergers and acquisitions of a billion dollars. Many were sceptical about his idea, saying that at that time it was impossible to succeed in this area because the target companies had no assets to lend. Smith, however, continued with his business. Since then, Vista has become a very successful private equity firm and Smith has become the richest of African-Americans.
In May 2016, Vista signed an agreement to buy Marketo for $ 1.8 billion. It was a relatively expensive acquisition, noting that Marketo, a marketing automation software company, was failing to grow and was losing a lot of money. However, under Smith’s leadership, Marketo’s revenues have exceeded $ 100 million in just three years. Adobe, a leading provider of software and graphics and video services, has been very interested in Marketo. Last month, Adobe announced the integration of Marketo with its Adobe Experience Cloud platform.
According to a press release, the acquisition will enable Adobe to deliver an unrivalled set of solutions to provide customers and businesses of all sizes with transformative experiences. In addition, Forbes ranked the 61-year-old businessman as the 226th richest person in America in 2017, the 668th billionth largest global billionaire in Forbes 2016, with a net worth of $ 4.4 billion. He was also named by Forbes as one of the 100 greatest minds in the business world and was declared the richest African-American in a Forbes cover story in 2018.