Commentary

Is the M&A Market In Ad Tech And Martech Heating Up A Bit?

The digital video marketplace, Teads, today said it’s raised $47 million in new debt financing. That’s not an insignificant amount. The company said it will use the funds to acquire ad-tech companies that will help it expand into the APAC market. Teads has been profitable for the last four years, according to a release.

Meanwhile, Teads already has a marketplace in Japan and will expand into Southeast Asia this year, and China next year. Christian Guinot, former president of MEC China, is joining Teads to drive the Asian operations from the newly set-up Singapore hub.

The Teads financing may be a signal that the M&A market in ad tech and martech is heating up.

In the first quarter of 2016, there was $2.4 billion in ad tech/martech deal activity, according to data from Results International, an M&A advisory firm. For Q1, there were 108 deals announced during this period, 75 in martech and 33 in ad tech, according to Results International’s report.

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Luma Partners, an investment banking firm, reported 72 M&A deals in Q1 among ad tech, martech, and  digital content companies, the second-highest quarter for M&A activity since the beginning of 2015.

If the trend continues for Q2 and Q3, and we haven’t seen that data yet, perhaps we may be seeing  consolidation in ad tech and martech hitting a new pace.

For some, it can’t come soon enough. There are too many ad tech and martech companies: too many supply-side partners, demand-side partners, data-management platforms, trading desks, cross-device attribution service providers, third-party ad vertification “solutions” providers, personalization companies, and data services firms.

Any company with several consecutive quarters of increasing revenue growth will look for suitors. Profitability doesn’t even appear to be a prerequisite for being acquired. To work globally, these companies have to get bigger. The only way to do so, is to gobble one another up, successfully integrate, and offer customers what they want.

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