Google Catches Wildfire

(Reuters) – Google Inc said on Tuesday it acquired marketing start-up Wildfire to help the world’s largest Internet search company expand further into social media.

Google paid about $250 million for the business, according to a person familiar with the deal. The source is not authorized to speak publicly about the transaction and requested anonymity.

Wildfire provides software that links to Facebook Inc, Twitter, LinkedIn Corp and other social networks, allowing customers to manage their online brand and presence. Wildfire’s clients include Sony Corp and Inc.

The deal is the latest in a string of social media acquisitions by Internet and enterprise software companies. Inc snapped up Buddy Media in June for almost $700 million, and Oracle Corp has acquired several social media businesses this year, including Involver, Vitrue and Collective Intellect.

Backers in Wildfire include 500 Startups, Felicis Ventures, and Summit Partners.

(Reporting By Alistair Barr; Editing by Jonathan Marino, Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)

Image Credit: Wildfire