In a move it says gives it the biggest global footprint of local manpower of any demand-side platform (DSP), DataXu has acquired London-based Mexad, a leading European DSP with offices in Western Europe and Brazil. Both companies are privately held, and terms were not disclosed, but DataXu Co-Founder and CEO Mike Baker says the acquisition gives DataXu a competitive advantage in a sector that increasingly is about local service and market knowledge.
With 36 employees, Mexad manages real-time bidding campaigns and inventory in about 60 countries in Europe and Latin America, complementing DataXu’s local market knowledge in North America, he says.
“They have an on-the-ground presence in all the major markets in Europe right now,” Baker tells Online Media Daily, adding that “feet-on-the-street” is becoming a key differentiator for the DSP business, because it’s not just having the best software, algorithms and access to RTB inventory that determines success in local markets, but understanding local cultures, ways of doing business in specific markets, and the ability to advise and service local marketers and agencies in those markets.
“The world is not America,” he explains, emphasizing: “It’s not just the U.S. There are legal issues that are unique to local markets, and that’s really important, because Germany has a different perspective than the U.K. does, than Brazil does, than the Netherlands do. Our business is all about the data, and the data ultimately is local.”
DataXu -- which recently ranked as the industry’s No. 1 DSP, according to influential research analyst Forrester’s Wave Report largely because of its service capabilities -- may still be smaller in total size than some of its bigger competitors, but Baker says the addition of Mexad means it now has a global footprint with better local market expertise.
In effect, he says, the DSP market is becoming a “paradox,” requiring platforms to be both global in their coverage and distribution and “hyper-local” in their knowledge and service.