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25 April, 2018 - 07:41 By Tony Quested

Cambridge investment windfall as Oracle snaps up Grapeshot

California tech giant Oracle has splashed undisclosed millions on a second Cambridge company, snapping up Grapeshot in a deal that brings a windfall to a host of investors in the UK technology cluster.

Not least among them is IQ Capital whose two funds own around 31.5 per cent of Grapeshot’s shareholding. IQ merely announced the successful exit and said it would go into more detail later.

It is also boom time for Grapeshot co-founder and CEO John Snyder who is understood to be the second largest shareholder.

One investor told Business Weekly that while the purchase price was being kept under wraps, in terms of cash coming back into Cambridge for re-investment it was very good news.

It is seven years to the month since Oracle, headquartered in Redwood City but with a major presence at Cambridge Science Park, swooped for another tech company in the cluster – Datanomic. It declined to name the price in that deal as well.

John Snyder has not yet responded to a Business Weekly request for comment and Oracle are keeping details to the minimum, announcing merely that it had signed an agreement to acquire Grapeshot, which provides brand safety and pre-bid contextual solutions to over 5,000 of the world's leading marketers.

Every month, over 38 billion programmatic ad impressions are enhanced using Grapeshot's Contextual Intelligence Platform in dozens of languages and this number has grown well over 100 per cent year over year.

Oracle did add that the Grapeshot technology “will complement Oracle Data Cloud’s custom audience ability to improve marketing outcomes for our partners worldwide by adding the important dimension of context to Oracle Data Cloud's expertise in audiences and measurement.”

The Oracle acquisition is a fabulous outcome for John Snyder, until recently a judge in the Business Weekly Awards.

Snyder has built Grapeshot into a global leader in contextual intelligence with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, New York, London, Cambridge, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Sydney.

He has spent his whole career in the field of information retrieval and keyword technology, with a successful exit of the Muscat information search business in 1997 and a series of investments in hi-tech startups.

He holds a BA Honours degree from the University of Cambridge, where he remains a Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Judge Business School.

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