Online ad tech company Undertone has acquired digital publisher rep firm WWN. Terms of the deal, New York-based Undertone’s second in the past past, were not disclosed. The purchase of Paris-based WWN is intended to expand Undertone’s global reach, as the company works to evolve from an ad network — it dumped the “networks” part of its name not too long ago — into a more general online ad services provider to publishers and advertisers. “There’s nothing inherently negative or wrong with the ad network model,” Undertone CEO Mike Cassidy said in an interview with paidContent. “We just find the label too confining.”
As Undertone takes on a more global focus, it has hired Steve Goldberg, one of the founders and an original board member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau as SVP and GM of International to manage its expansion to other countries. Goldberg has worked at and help sell several startups since his days at Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), where he was group manager of the initial advertising team.
Last month, Undertone bought online video ad network Jambo Media. The price on that deal was undisclosed as well. As with WWN, the deal is seen as a complement to Undertone’s general display ad serving, targeting and optimization business.
In addition to its Paris headquarters, five-year-old WWN has offices in London and Germany. For Undertone, WWN brings relationships with publishers in 40 countries, including Japan and Chile. There’s little overlap in terms of publisher ties between Undertone and WWN, which was another reason the company jumped on the acquisition. In all, it gives Undertone access to about 700 publishers’ inventory around the world.
Cassidy believes that the deal will also make Undertone more attractive in the travel, financial services and tech categories, which especially to want to buy audiences across various regions and countries.
Although Undertone doesn’t have any other specific acquisition targets in its scope right now, it is looking for ways to expand to Asia and would like to do another deal that expands its presence there sooner than later. As for WWN, the brand will fall away and it will adopt Undertone’s name.