Simpli.fi announced on Tuesday the acquisition of a software company known for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology aimed at improving the workflow for those in the advertising industry.
The Advantage Software Company creates software and services for accounting, project management, and media buying, as well as re-consolidation. The combined company will serve more than 1,000 advertising agencies and media-buying organizations.
It's Simpli.fi’s first major acquisition, a deal worth more than $100 million.
“We’ve been very focused on making agencies and media-buying organizations more efficient by automating purchases of programmatic media, so this is all about continuing that focus,” said Frost Prioleau, CEO at Simpli.fi, which focuses on programmatic technology for connected television (CTV), addressable and mobile advertising.
Prioleau said the two companies had worked together in 2020, and it soon became apparent that if the two were one company it would increase the level of automation and integration for all customers.
Ellen Coulter, founder of Advantage Software, will remain as president to run the company as a separate business unit. All 40 employees will stay on as well, joining Simpli.fi’s approximately 340 employees.
Advantage Software brings with about 650 clients. Some already work with Simpli.fi, but "hundreds" do not, Prioleau said.
While both companies focus on serving clients in North America, Prioleau said “probably in the next few years, we will start to build out our international footprint.”
Simpli.fi’s acquisition comes on the heels of a successful year. “2020 looked about like 2019,” he said.
The first and the fourth quarters in 2020 were up compared with the prior year, but the second and the third quarters were down. “Our connected TV business more than doubled in 2020, compared with 2019,” he said. “We also saw strong growth in addressable household targeting. … It was very much a balance.”
Prioleau said the company is seeing a very strong start to 2021. Last year the company grew more than 20% in the first quarter, and so far it sees the same this year.
The integration of the companies should alleviate many challenges and increase efficiency and profitability by centralizing project management, creative proofing and resource management processes. Among the benefits, eliminating multiple data entry points, siloed data and costly errors, as well as providing management information, media delivery and performance, multichannel visibility and other operating metrics in real-time.