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Canadian startup builds social-media marketing software
Vancouver company had contemplated IPO for several years
Ryan Holmes, chief executive officer of Hootsuite, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in London on Jan. 12, 2017. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Hootsuite Inc., a Canadian startup that builds software to help marketers use social media, is said to be for sale.
The Vancouver-based company, which has been an anchor of that city’s tech scene for years, has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to explore a sale at a valuation of at least $750 million, a person familiar with the deal said. The company could still opt to go public instead of selling itself, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. Reuters reported the potential sale on Thursday.
Hootsuite couldn’t be reached for comment. A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman declined to comment.
Hootsuite shot to prominence over the last five years as one of the early success stories of the recent wave of Canadian tech startups to gain international attention. The company raised venture funding in 2014 at a valuation of about $750 million, with investors including Fidelity Investments. But while fellow Canadian tech darling Shopify Inc. went public and continued to expand rapidly, Hootsuite had to cut staff and focus on being cash flow positive instead of pouring fuel into revenue growth.
Hootsuite gives marketers the ability to vet and schedule large numbers of social media posts. Bigger software companies, including Oracle Corp., Salesforce.com Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc., offer similar products.