Acxiom announced Wednesday it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held LiveRamp, a San Francisco-based startup known for matching offline data to online marketing applications, for approximately $310 million in cash.

Through the acquisition of LiveRamp, Acxiom will expand its capability to bridge the gap between offline data and the rapidly growing universe of online marketing applications with better matching, more connectivity and faster onboarding.

Onboarding is the adoption of offline to online data services such as linking mobile app preferences to online advertisements.

In a video on LiveRamp’s blog, Acxiom CEO Scott Howe compares this time in the marketing industry to the Transcontinental Railroad "when East was united with West."

"Suddenly, there was an interconnected set of tracks that could be used by all to bring regions and people together in convenient ways never before possible, and ushered in a whole new era that benefited industries, companies and consumers," he said.

Acxiom is committed to maintaining an open and neutral onboarding service for the entire marketing ecosystem, helping to make every technology platform better by providing access to more data in a private and secure manner.

"This is a win for the entire marketing industry," Howe said. "This deal brings together the worlds leading marketing data company with the emerging leader in data onboarding to create the industry’s most comprehensive network of connections.

Howe said a "complete philosophical alignment" already exists between the two organizations.

"Together, we will accelerate our vision of a connected ecosystem that delivers true one-to-one marketing at scale," he said. "The combination should help virtually everyone in the industry achieve better connections, better insights and better results."

Collectively, Acxiom and LiveRamp have relationships with more than 7,000 global customers and partnerships with the world’s premier technology platforms and media providers. The combined industry-leading capabilities will allow the ecosystem to reach more than 99 percent of the adult U.S. population with relevant and targeted messages across all channels and devices. Over the coming twelve months, Acxiom and LiveRamp expect to expand this capability globally, most specifically in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

LiveRamp has already been working closely with Acxiom for over two years and LiveRamp CEO Auren Hoffman

said the company is excited to be part of an even bigger mission.

"Joining Acxiom is a real win for our customers, partners and employees," Hoffman said. "We look forward to having access to Acxioms extensive resources, talent and technology and believe the combination will help us reach our goal of making every marketing application more valuable through the power of connected data."

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close mid-summer.

The deal came at the same time as Acxiom’s fourth quarter earnings report in which the enterprise data, analytics and software-as-a-service company reported total revenue of $277 million. (Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1215. Send us your news at