Sell-side platform PubMatic has acquired ReviNet, a smaller publisher advertising optimizer. The deal, terms of which were undisclosed, are meant to broaden PubMatic’s reach to publishers that ReviNet has established relationships with, such as The Christian Science Monitor, Dallas newspaper owner A.H. Belo (NYSE: AHC), the Boston Herald and The Sporting News, said CEO and founder Rajeev Goel in an interview with paidContent.
The deal gives PubMatic access to a total of 57 brand name publishers who work with Boston-based ReviNet. The company, which was founded by former staffers of the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) Company’s Boston Globe/Boston.com, will also bring over their 15 employees to PubMatic. In addition to the acquisition, Palo Alto-based PubMatic is also in the process continuing to build up its European presence and is doubling the number of engineers it has to over 100.
“2010 was a breakaway year for us as our revenues grew 10x last year, outpacing the market,” Goel says. “There’s a growing sense that publishers want to work with platforms that have scale. Because we provide that — and ReviNet has the customer relationships with the news publishers — the deal is meet both our overlapping goals.”
Unlike the dozens of demand-side platforms that aid ad agencies and marketers take advantage of networks and exchanges, the pool of supply-side companies have remained fairly limited to PubMatic, AdMeld, The Rubicon Project.
All three are at varying levels of expansion as publishers begin to reluctantly embrace real-time bidding. The reluctance is due to the not-unreasonable fear that by allowing more of their advertising inventory to be sold via exchanges, they erode the value of their direct sales — i.e., premium inventory. After all, why should an automotives marketer pay higher CPMs for a premium placement after haggling with a publisher’s salesperson when they could just try to get decent placement for a fraction of the price through a real-time bid?
Well, publishers are increasingly having little choice, as the advertisers and agencies that they have forged relationships with — and depend on to support their content — are funneling more of their spending through trading desks, DSPs and exchanges. Therefore, publishers have begun to turn to SSPs over the past few years to help protect their pricing.
Given the trends bringing more publishers to the RTB/exchange table, the SSPs are likely to be more in demand than in past years. And that will likely mean that the established players will be looking for more acquisitions.
“At least six companies called on us in the last few months to do a deal with them,” Goel says. “ReviNet was the one that made the most sense for us at this time. But we expect others and we’ll be taking a careful look.”