UK-based communications group WPP’s chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell wrote tantalisingly of his group’s two biggest corporate venturing exits in the Sunday Telegraph in March, that the sale of Buddy Media, a social marketing company, for $745m to US-based cloud company Salesforce – our exit of the year – as well as the sale of Omniture for $1.8bn to Adobe in 2011, had been “unfortunate”.

Sorrell explained: “We have to add and explore new capabilities and talents, really acting as a strategic venture capitalist or private equity firm, taking control of, or investing in, new firms that broaden and deepen our client offer and educate and train our people in new ways.

“Recent stellar examples were Omniture in the area of web analytics and Buddy Media with its Facebook platform. With both we had not only strategic investments, but also training relationships for our people. Unfortunately, both were so good…

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