San Francisco, California, USA — July 15, 2021 — Verve Group, a privacy-first omnichannel ad platform, earlier this week announced the acquisition of Smaato through a subsidiary of its parent company Media and Games Invest SE (MGI). The transaction places Smaato at an enterprise value of USD 170M. The acquisition positions Verve Group as one of the top global mobile ad exchanges, with a joint team of over 300 employees spread across 25 offices worldwide.
Smaato’s digital ad tech platform and ad server is a self-serve omnichannel monetization solution offering publishers the ability to manage their entire ad stack in one place. Expanding beyond its roots in mobile, Smaato launched their over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) platform this year, making it a natural fit for Verve Group’s ad platform, which provides solutions across mobile web, mobile in-app, desktop, digital out-of-home (DOOH), and connected TV (CTV). Smaato also brings its mobile and in-app expertise to Verve Group’s full-stack suite of products.
Founded in 2005 and headquartered in San Francisco, Smaato has been steadily expanding over the years, breaking its own revenue records for the first time in its 16-year history in 2020. After finishing his task of successfully turning Smaato around and finding a suitable buyer for the company, Smaato CEO Ajitpal Pannu will transition leadership to Verve Group’s Matthew Deets, who will serve as the General Manager of Smaato. Joining the Verve Group family will expand their platforms’ audience reach, with the addition of a substantial number of in-app publishers and advertisers, particularly in the fast-growing digital markets of APAC. In addition, Smaato launched its data-compliant platform in China last year, adding to Verve Group’s capabilities in the region. Smaato’s product line for publishers includes OTT, CTV, video, mobile web, in-app, and native along with various integration methods via their SDK, API, ad tag, or Prebid, along with an ad server, and an ad exchange. Additionally, the company also caters to marketers with a customer data platform, consent management platform (CMP), a powerful data visualization product, and curated, brand-safe inventory packages for precision targeting.
“We’re excited to have Smaato join the Verve Group family. Smaato’s omnichannel monetization approach aligns with Verve Group’s vision,” says Matthew Deets, who is appointed as the new General Manager of Smaato. “The synergies between Smaato and Verve Group will strengthen both platforms and foster expansion into new markets.”
“With Smaato becoming a part of Verve Group, we look forward to extending our joint premium inventory and product suite to our partners,” said Sameer Sondhi, Chief Revenue Officer at Verve Group. “Smaato’s expansion into innovative omnichannel monetization solutions will play a key role in strengthening Verve Group’s offerings globally.”
The acquisition is yet another milestone for Verve Group as it grows its robust full-stack programmatic solutions for brands and publishers. The omnichannel ad platform has been steadily increasing its focus on privacy-first advertising solutions, having recently acquired the Beemray platform to grow its contextual targeting capabilities, and launching a pioneering targeting solution called ATOM (or Anonymized Targeting on Mobile), built exclusively for in-app advertisers and publishers to solve for the deprecation of IDFA.
Media and Games Invest SE, the listed parent of Verve Group’s companies, has, through a subsidiary, successfully entered into an agreement with the current shareholder of Smaato’s group companies, Shanghai Qiugu Investment Partnership (Limited Partnership), to acquire 99.99 percent of the shares of Shanghai Yi Qiu Business Management Co., Ltd., which is the holding company of Smaato Holding GmbH and is holding the shares in Smaato, Inc. together with Smaato Holding GmbH. The transaction has been signed yesterday and is expected to close within the coming 2 months provided regulatory approvals have been obtained. The purchase price will be fully paid in cash.
About Verve Group
Verve Group’s omnichannel ad platform connects advertisers, agencies, brands, and publishers to people in real time. With a privacy-first approach, Verve Group offers advertising innovation at scale with full-stack programmatic solutions in brand-safe environments. The global group is a trusted partner of 5,000+ advertisers and brands with direct connections to 4,000+ publishers and apps globally. Verve Group is part of Media and Games Invest (MGI) and has an international presence with over 200 employees in 20+ offices worldwide, spanning the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. Learn more at www.verve.com.
About Media and Games Invest
Media and Games Invest SE is a digital integrated games and media company with main operational presence in Europe and North America. The company combines organic growth with value-generating synergetic acquisitions, demonstrating continuous strong, profitable growth with a revenue CAGR of 76% since 2018. Next to strong organic growth, the MGI Group has successfully acquired more than 30 companies and assets in the past 6 years. The acquired assets and companies are integrated and amongst others cloud technology is actively used to achieve efficiency gains and competitive advantages. The Company’s shares are listed on Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market in Stockholm and in the Scale segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The Company has a secured bond that is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange Open Market as well as an unsecured bond listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange Open Market.
Smaato’s digital ad tech platform is a completely omnichannel, self-serve monetization solution and ad server. Smaato’s solution makes monetization simple. Publishers are benefiting from the Smaato platform which allows publishers to create custom-tailored user experience and generate better revenue with ads in apps. Marketers get access to the highest-quality inventory so they can reach audiences around the world and on any device. Smaato is headquartered in San Francisco, with additional offices in Hamburg, New York City, Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore. Learn more at www.smaato.com.