CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 10 January 2019

All the latest martech and adtech news this week from RTL Group, MediaMath, Gimbal, Akamai, Janrain, HERE, Verve, Innovid, Sprout Social and Smaato.

RTL Group to acquire Yospace

RTL Group has signed an agreement to acquire control of UK-based video technology company, Yospace. The transaction is expected to close 1 February 2019.

Yospace has developed technologies for Server-Side Dynamic Ad Insertion (SSDAI), which allows the replacement of existing commercials from a broadcast stream with more targeted, personalised advertising. SSDAI is expected to become the de facto standard to serve advertising spots in premium streaming environments. 

RTL Group will pay up to US$33 million before cash and debt adjustments in connection with the full acquisition of Yospace, including upfront and performance related components. Under the terms of the transaction, RTL Group will appoint three of five members to the Board of Yospace. Yospace CEO, Tim Sewell, and chief technology officer, David Springall, will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the company, reporting to its board.

The Yospace technology serves major media owners throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Customers include BT Sport, TV4, ITV and Seven West Media.

Akamai to acquire Janrain

Also on the acquisition path is Akamai Technologies, a platform for securing and delivering digital experiences, which has entered into an agreement to acquire Janrain, a pioneer of the customer identity access management (CIAM) category.

Janrain enables enterprises to enhance digital trust by offloading login and registration workloads, and its integration with Akamai’s Intelligent Edge Platform is expected to provide security, regulatory compliance and massive scale to online engagements.

The acquisition is expected to add critical complementary capability that will help Akamai's customers establish and maintain digital trust with their users by providing a secure and resilient environment for collecting and storing sensitive user information, managing privacy controls, defending against identity fraud, and improving engagement and brand loyalty.

The all-cash transaction is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2019. Cost of acquisition was not confirmed.   

MediaMath and Place Exchange deliver first OOH programmatic omnichannel campaigns

Programmatic platform vendor, MediaMath, has partnered with Place Exchange for what it claims is the first true programmatic exchange for out-of-home and place-based media.

Using the new technology, OOH ads can be purchased programmatically via the exact same campaigns and workflows as online and mobile media and measured with the exact same metrics and reporting including impressions, conversions, response rates, and CPAs. This makes OOH attributable in the same way as other digital channels.

The ads ran via Place Exchange's open auction, which includes OOH inventory across a wide array of outdoor and indoor formats from the top OOH media companies across the US. Through its patent-pending integration and proprietary data, Place Exchange can unify campaign and creative workflows, as well as reporting and attribution, for OOH with other programmatic channels within DSP systems.

Sprout Social secures US$40.5m 

Sprout Social, a provider of social media marketing, analytics and advocacy solutions for business, has secured US$40.5 million in a Series D funding round led by Future Fund and involving Goldman Sachs and New Enterprise Associates.

This latest round of investment brings total capital raised to US$103.5 million and underscores Sprout's momentum and foothold within the social media software space. New funds will be used to accelerate the company's plans for deepened platform capabilities and increased international expansion.

Sprout said it has experienced sustained, rapid growth in recent years, acquiring social analytics firm, Simply Measured, and recently surpassing 25,000 customers and 500 employees around the globe. The funding will allow Sprout to further accelerate that growth with investments across the business and their expanding platform.

Gimbal purchases managed media business

Gimbal has purchased the managed media business unit of UberMedia, a Pasadena-based mobile analytics company.

The acquisition will expand Gimbal's footprint through access to new markets. With access to active campaigns, for example, Gimbal said it will be able to apply its 'identity plus location' solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We continue to double-down on our thesis that our unique data set can continue to enhance and grow existing media budgets," said Gimbal CEO, Rob Emrich. "By leveraging existing accounts, we now have a larger platform to showcase our capabilities."

With the deal, Gimbal also adds a handful of experienced UberMedia team members to its roster in sales and client strategy capacities.

HERE and Verve partner

Verve, a mobile platform for location-powered programmatic video and display marketing, and HERE Technologies, a provider of mapping and location services, have struck a partnership that aims to amplify mobile display advertising performance and open up new digital out-of-home (OOH) and in-vehicle opportunities.

By combining Verve’s location-context mobile data with the location intelligence from HERE Technologies, the partnership aims to meet the demands of the growing digital OOH market.

The companies said HERE enriches Verve’s Velocity platform with more sophisticated location datasets, ranging from places data and building polygons to venue maps, enabling B2B customers to improve audience segmentation, optimise campaign measurement and ultimately serve consumers more relevant advertising by connecting with them at the times when and places where they visit, shop and share.

Innovid receives US$30m in funding

Video advertising platform, Innovid, has secured US$30 million in pre-IPO funding from Goldman Sachs’ Private Capital Investing group.

Innovid will use the additional capital to further its innovation and leadership in the connected TV (CTV) advertising technology market, as well as to expand its global footprint.

“Innovid continues to push the boundaries for what is possible with video advertising across all screens, especially on CTV,” said Zvika Netter, CEO and co-founder of Innovid. “Our technology platform is enabling new advertising models, including addressable and interactive ads, that are ushering in a new era of personalisation and relevancy for CTV viewers.

"With this funding, Innovid will further advance its end-to-end CTV platform creating a more efficient workflow, while solving industry measurement challenges and expanding its global footprint to meet the evolving needs of its international client base of brands, media and creative agencies, and publishers.”

New hybrid auction model by Smaato

Smaato, an advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers, has taken the wrappers off a new hybrid auction model aimed at providing a more flexible and profitable programmatic environment for publishers and media buyers.

The hybrid auction model aims to ensure the highest and most competitive eCPM for publishers by comparing bids across both first- and second-price bidders. Meanwhile, media buyers are empowered to choose which type of auction they want to participate in for each bid request.

This platform release also aims to deliver enhanced transparency to the auction process for buyers and sellers. In a hybrid auction, demand partners can bid according to their preferred auction model when responding to a bid request. Smaato then holds two separate but simultaneous auctions — one for first-price bidders and one for second-price bidders. The winning bids of these two pools are compared and the final winner is decided according to which result will provide the best yield for the publisher.

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