Spectrum Equity Buys Majority Stake In Bitly

In exchange for $63 million, Spectrum is getting a link management platform that has the potential to track lots of user behavior, based on their linking preferences.  

With the investment, Bitly is expected to expand its enterprise marketing business.

As part of the deal, Pete Jensen and Parag Khandelwal from Spectrum Equity are joining Bitly’s board of directors.

Some of Bitly’s existing enterprise tools include customizable links, cross-channel link tracking and a “brand manager,” which allows for the segmenting of account activity and analytics by department, location, channel, brand or user.

From its humble beginnings as a link-shortening service in 2008, Bitly branched out into data tracking, research and other marketing services.

In 2012, the company repositioned itself as a broad social bookmarking hub, built around saving and sharing links or “bitmarks.” As part of the makeover, users were encouraged to organize bitmarks around various topics, as well as search and filter them. Then they would share them on Facebook and Twitter.

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At the time, the pivot was seen as a response to Twitter’s decision to drop Bitly as its link-shortening tool. 

Today, Bitly still claims a user base in the millions, while it says that three-quarters of all Fortune 500 companies still use its tools.

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