Buyouts: Robert F. Smith discusses Vista’s value creation strategy and exit momentum. READ HERE

Case Study / Spurring Growth and Innovation

Spurring Growth and Innovation

Endorsements presented herein are made by current or former employees of Vista portfolio companies, over which Vista may have the ability to exercise discretion on employee compensation, promotion and other employment decisions.

In Vista, Marketo found an environment that values and encourages innovation.

Businesses across every industry are experiencing increased competition and challenges in today’s hyper-connected and digital world. Virtually every marketing department must figure out how to differentiate its offerings and meet the growing expectations of customers.

Founded more than a decade ago, Marketo is a pioneer in the digital marketing space. With its core solution, the Marketo Engagement Marketing Platform, companies can seamlessly execute, manage and measure all marketing activities and customer interactions. By automating these critical processes, companies can succeed in the race to capture the attention of consumers and improve their bottom lines.

With Vista as an investment partner, taking on the role of Marketo CEO was easy for Steve Lucas. Lucas was drawn to Vista’s operational processes and the Vista Best Practices and was encouraged by the idea of being part of a truly collaborative environment.

As the former President of Enterprise Platform and Analytics at SAP, Lucas knew that the role of CEO would be rewarding, but that there also would be pressure and challenges as he took on the next phase of growth. He knew having Vista’s network of experienced executives and operational experts would help him implement strategies to improve sales practices and reshape how the company approached talent recruitment.

After partnering with Vista, Lucas realized how much emphasis the firm places on driving innovation and continuous improvement, a value essential to Marketo as well; to stay a leader in digital marketing, Marketo must continuously evolve its offering through investment in next-generation technologies such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). “They’ve created an environment where you can take risks,” Lucas explained. “The ability to feel empowered to take risks has made all the difference for Marketo.”

With Vista, Marketo has made pivotal investments in technology such as their partnership with Google Cloud. This particular endeavor looks at what audiences Marketo customers are targeting and, through Google’s ML platform, can find lookalike audiences in their marketing database. According to Lucas, those types of powerful and intuitive technologies require investment and faith, something he was able to find in Vista. From implementing new technologies to expanding current product offerings, Lucas is excited to see where the partnership can take the company.

Please see the “Case Studies” section of the Disclosures page for important information about these Case Studies.

It’s not one thing – it’s a collection of many things that make this magic known as Vista.

Steve Lucas, Former CEO, Marketo


Year of Investment: 2016
Portfolio Status: Former
Headquarters: San Mateo, CA

Marketo provides the leading marketing software and engagement platform designed to help marketers develop long-term relationships with their customers – from acquisition to advocacy.

Marketo, Inc.’s core solution is the Marketo Engagement Marketing Platform, which enables the execution, management and measurement of online, social and offline marketing activities and customer interactions. The Company’s platform enables marketers to automate the critical processes designed to generate new customer leads, convert leads into new customers,  upsell more products and services to existing customers, and has a strong and demonstrable ROI. Marketo’s solutions are used by over 4,600 customers in a wide variety of industry verticals including business services, communications, education, energy, financial services, healthcare and life sciences.

The Company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with operations worldwide.

Vista Equity Partners Fund V and Vista Equity Partners Fund VI completed a take-private of Marketo in August 2016.

Adobe acquired Marketo in October 2018.

Sign Up for Insights