Singtel Buys Turn for $310 Million

TurnSingtel’s Amobee announced it is to acquire media buying platform Turn for US$310 million. The deal has been rumoured for months now and the acquisition will provide Amobee with a data management platform (DMP) and a multichannel DSP that countes KraftHeinz, Toyota and L’Oréal USA amongst its clients. Singtel is Asia’s leading telco and is no stranger to ad tech acquisitions — in the past the company bought Amobee, Gradient X and Kontera.

The acquisition of Turn will expand Amobee’s existing programmatic and data management capabilities.Samba Natarajan, Singtel’s CEO of Group Digital Life, said, “With marketers increasingly shifting from traditional to digital media to engage consumers, global digital ad spend is expected to exceed US$200 billion in 2017. The strategic acquisition of Turn strengthens Amobee’s technological edge in the rapidly evolving market of digital advertising and accelerates its growth into a significant global digital marketing player. It will also prime Amobee for expansion beyond the US and into the Asia Pacific, where the Singtel Group reaches some 640 million customers across 22 countries.”

Turn has raised $167 million in seven rounds, with the Series E round coming in at $80 million. Focus Ventures, Greenspring Associates, Fidelity Investments and BlackRock. At one point the company was rumoured to be considering an IPO, but in 2015 the company reportedly ran into cash issues, at which point Turn’s then CEO Bill Demas stepped down.

Current CEO Bruce Falck, wrote in a blog post, “We now have the resources and scale to be the largest independent buy side platform.” He added, “The Amobee Brand Intelligence real-time consumer insights platform, cookie-less identification technology, and deterministic device graph will be integrated with the Turn DMP, offering brands unprecedented insights about their consumers. Through Singtel’s global operator relationships, we’ll also gain exclusive access to cross-device data.”


In a statement Amobee’s CEO, Kim Perell, said, “This acquisition makes Amobee one of the largest independent buy-side marketing technology providers globally, boosts our data analytics capabilities and understanding of consumers, and provides a strong foundation for our future growth. Effectively powering advertisers’ digital marketing is about enabling them to better understand and reach their customers, and enhance the way they engage them, on a global scale. To differentiate and capitalize on the growing market opportunity, we will offer world-class technology paired with advanced data and insights.”

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed within the first half of 2017.

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