Video ad platform Mixpo on Wednesday announced it has acquired ShopIgniter, a social mobile advertising firm. The acquisition blends three of the fastest-growing areas in digital marketing: video, social and mobile, two of which (social and mobile) are already as intertwined as can be.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Jeff Lanctot, CEO of Mixpo, told Real-Time Daily that Mixpo has been focused on establishing itself as a multi-screen platform, and that while it had mobile and social offerings, the addition of SpotIgniter’s platform is “a big upgrade.”
“We increasingly felt like you had to have that social piece if you wanted to be credible in mobile,” said Lanctot, “and you needed mobile to be credible in multi-screen.”
The “roadmaps” of the largest social media platforms -- Facebook and Twitter -- were the catalysts for the Mixpo-ShopIgniter deal, per Lanctot. He said the deal was about Mixpo “doubling down on the growing importance of Facebook and Twitter,” particularly because those companies -- Facebook especially -- are so mobile-focused. And judging by Facebook’s recent acquisition of programmatic ad platform LiveRail, it too has an interest in coupling video, social and mobile.
Lanctot said the Mixpo team initially planed to build a social mobile offering. He had first reached out to ShopIgniter CEO Matt Compton -- Lanctot had been on the ShopIgniter board of advisors from June 2012 until taking over as Mixpo CEO last fall -- for some tips on how to build a legitimate social mobile offering.
But Lanctot said he soon felt there was “no time to waste” because of how fast Facebook and Twitter were moving, and his talks with Compton turned from brainstorming tech ideas to brainstorming a potential business deal.
“We have a shared sense of where the industry is going, and we realized just how complimentary the two companies were,” said Lanctot. “Initially there was a sense that there was a little more competitive overlap, but that turned out not to be the case.”
“Mixpo and ShopIgniter are very complementary companies,” Compton said in an earlier statement. “The fit between the products, customers and teams became obvious very quickly in our initial discussions.”
In the short-term, ShopIgniter will continue operating as its own platform; it will even keep its own brand name, at least for now. Lanctot said Mixpo will ultimately “looks for ways to integrate the two companies both organizationally and from a product perspective.”
Lanctot, however, doesn’t intent to bring the two companies together under one room. Mixpo is headquartered in Seattle, and ShopIgniter is headquartered in Portland. Lanctot said he’s “comfortable having a Portland office and a Portland team,” citing the fact Mixpo has a software development team in British Columbia and is familiar with remote offices.
In terms of programmatic advertising, Mixpo has been fairly active in the space, including working with companies such as Videology. ShopIgniter, on the other hand, has been “limited in what they’ve done” in programmatic, but Lanctot affirmed that programmatic will be a larger part of ShopIgniter’s plan in the future.
Mixpo will continue operating as a video-focused ad platform, but Lanctot did note that the company will be handling more rich media ads within social networks post-acquisition. And while Facebook and Twitter are “where it starts,” per Lanctot, other social networks are also on the radar.
ShopIgniter clients include Comcast, Digitas, Resolution Media, Target, Ford, Sony Music and Universal, per a release.