OpenX, the online ad exchange, is looking to be acquired or sold, according to a report on Business Insider. The report states that the company has met with potential buyers within the ad-tech sector and in the marketing cloud space. OpenX raised $75.5 million in funding and is purportedly profitable on $100 million net revenue in 2014.
On Tuesday, the company's chief communications officer, Deborah Roth, shared the same statement with RTD that she did with BI: "We're having a great year, growing strongly in all dimensions. We remain focused on and excited about building a large, independent programmatic business. As is the case with many high-performing companies, we look for opportunities to add to our capabilities, and we have strategic discussions with a range of companies."
A source close to the company called the BI report an "overblown rumor" and said that OpenX is growing ahead of the tech curve and conducts strategic conversations about its business on a regular basis. The source also said it's well within the realm of possibility that OpenX is talking to other companies as an acquirer.
The timing of the story is interesting. OpenX CEO Tim Cadogan wrote in a bylined article in Re:Code Dec. 9: "The ad tech sector, already starting to consolidate, will continue to see the number of significant players reduce as quality demands escalate, and the best players, those capable of operating truly, high-quality markets at scale, emerge as ever-clearer leaders."
Cadogan has also spoken recently about companies' services like his as a "need to have vs. a nice to have." However, ad exchanges are struggling to differentiate from one another -- and the real
differentiator, in the end, is the company that's driving the greatest amount of revenue for clients and capturing more business.
The company's competitors include Google's DoubleClick and the Facebook Exchange.
Separately, the company announced a new appointment and a promotion on Tuesday. Michael Radovancevich was named chief technology officer and Douglas McPherson was promoted to chief administrative officer and general counsel. McPherson previously served as chief legal officer.
Radovancevich, who will helm global engineering and technology operations for OpenX, has logged 25 years of engineering leadership experience at technology firms in digital advertising and enterprise technology. He joined OpenX from Centro, where he served as CTO.
McPherson joined OpenX in 2012 as chief legal officer. In his expanded role, he'll manage OpenX’s legal, recruiting, people, learning and development and facilities teams.