Black Billionaire Robert F. Smith Becomes $3B Richer After Selling Cloud-Service Company to Adobe

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Black billionaire and engineer Robert F. Smith just earned himself a hefty chunk of change after selling a cloud-service company he purchased in 2016 to Adobe for a whopping $4.7 billion.

According to Forbes, Smith’s company, private equity firm Vista Equity, bought the cloud-sharing service Marketo for $1.8 billion in May of 2016 and grew its market revenue well over $100 million in just three years. The magazine estimates Vista will earn $3 billion in profits in next two years from the Marketo sale, making it the “biggest realized profit from a single company in the private equity firm’s 18-year history.”

Robert F. Smith
Robert F. Smith’s firm is expected to earn $3 billion from the sale of Marketo to Adobe. (Image courtesy of Ebony)

Adobe, a leading provider of graphics and video editing software, will incorporate Marketo into its Adobe Experience Cloud platform, enabling the company to “offer an unrivaled set of solutions for delivering transformative customer experiences across industries and companies of all sizes, according to a news release.

“Adobe and Marketo both share an unwavering belief in the power of content and data to drive business results,” Marketo CEO Steve Lucas, said in a statement. “Marketo delivers the leading B2B marketing engagement platform for the modern marketer, and there’s no better home for Marketo to continue to rapidly innovate than Adobe.”

Vista’s acquisition of Marketo was just one of many big deals made by Smith, the firm’s founder and CEO. Black Enterprise reports that Smith, a former investment banker for Goldman Sachs, bought Cvent Inc., a leading cloud-based enterprise event management firm, for $1.65 in November 2016. The year before, Vista announced plans to buy software provider Solera Holdings as part of a $6.5 billion deal.

All of Smith’s acquisitions have helped his company grow immensely. Not to mention, the mass wealth he’s pocketed by purchasing several companies in the technology field.

Smith ranks No. 226 on Forbes’ 400 richest list, boasting a net worth of $3.3 billion while his firm ranks No. 1 on the 2018 Black Enterprise “BE 100s” list of private, Black-owned equity firms.

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