RhythmOne today announced that it is to acquire YuMe for $185 million based on current exchange rates. Up until now YuMe has raised $75.2 million from a range of investors, including Samsung Ventures, Intel Capital and Menlo Ventures. The transaction is expected to close by Q1 2018. A statement on the deal said the the combined marketplace is anticipated to be “a top five comScore ranked marketplace” that will “provide advertisers with a credible, scaled and independent alternative to entrenched players”.
“Acquiring YuMe accelerates RhythmOne’s strategy to build a unified programmatic platform with unique audiences of differentiated quality at scale,” said Ted Hastings, CEO, RhythmOne. “Through YuMe, RhythmOne gains access to premium video supply including emerging, high-value connected TV inventory, unique customer insights, cross-screen targeting technology and established demand relationships. We believe this combination will give RhythmOne the resources, relationships and talent to drive value for its shareholders, and true a return on investment.”
“The combined company will have a strong financial profile providing a solid, scalable foundation upon which to accelerate growth and profitability,” said Eric Singer, chairman of YuMe. “After a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives, the YuMe board concluded that the combination with RhythmOne is in the best interest of all stockholders. This combination will provide immediate scale and will allow us to build upon the significant financial improvements underway in both companies. I look forward to serving the stockholders as chairman of the combined company upon closing and to guiding the team in realizing the combined company’s mission.”
The companies also listed a few points detailing the strategic rationale for the acquisition. What follows is quoted directly from the press release:
A demand leader paired with a supply leader. YuMe’s strengths lie in demand-side software and services used by brands, agencies and trading platforms, a robust, first-party data management and targeting platform and global programmatic capabilities. RhythmOne’s strengths are primarily focused on the supply-side as well as programmatic platform capabilities represented by its multi-channel, multi-format ad exchange, whereby advertisers and agencies can reach targeted, engaged audiences at scale. YuMe’s strong relationships with agencies and brands and its demand side platform complement RhythmOne’s robust, unified programmatic platform.
The benefits of scale. According to eMarketer, for the first time in 2016, digital advertising spend outpaced that of television. Advertisers want the value and scale from digital that they previously experienced with television. RhythmOne’s acquisition of YuMe will create a combined organization with one of the largest cross-device supply footprints in the industry. By adding comScore data from the two companies, the combined entity would reach ~220M unique visitors per month. Rather than dealing with a patchwork of boutique providers, advertisers will be able to go to a single source to meet their advertising objectives.
Comprehensive data insights. YuMe has built a robust, first-party data management and targeting platform that provides unique insights for brand advertising campaigns. RhythmOne’s analytics, data management platform and top-ranked brand safety technology provide transparency and drive results for performance-based campaigns. The unified, proprietary data set, augmented by machine-learning algorithms, will enable the combined company to successfully deliver against a broad range of advertising objectives. The data will also offer significant insight for publishers looking to derive additional value from their audiences.
Talent. RhythmOne and YuMe have two experienced, tenured teams that are clearly aligned within the vision for the combined company. These teams will directly benefit from operating a broader platform with greater revenue scale on a significantly stronger financial foundation.
Accretive. RhythmOne anticipates the transaction to be accretive in the first full year of ownership and believes that the acquisition represents an attractive opportunity to achieve savings of approximately US$10-12M per annum (before tax) across the combined businesses from functional redundancies, duplicative vendor relationships and public company costs. Furthermore, increased scale is likely to improve gross margin as a result of operating leverage and there may also be potential for revenue synergies.
RhythmOne’s CEO Ted Hastings will continue in his role as President and CEO of the combined company. Additionally, YuMe will appoint two directors to the newly constituted board of directors, one of whom will be Eric Singer, who will become the Chairman of the Board.