European RTB: the Investment Perspective

Earlier in the week VAN was involved in the Programmatic Masterclass that was co-organised by, comScore and Vivaki/AOD in Paris, as a prelude to the IAB Interact conference. One of the speakers was Simon Nicholls, a partner at GP Bullhound, which is an investment bank that specialises in the technology sector. Nicholls mapped out the key players in the European market, reiterated how we’re going to see consolidation, and explained how VC money was fuelling some unsustainable businesses. ‘Any turkey can fly in a hurricane’ , he said.

Some of GP Bullhound’s data was extremely interesting and gives an investment-oriented perspective which boils off acronyms and the marketing hype, so I thought it might be worth sharing some of the report highlights here:

  • Global RTB ad spend is expected to grow to over $20 billion in 2017
  • Over $1.5 billion has been invested into RTB platforms, with over half of this in the last two years (includes IPOs)Investment in RTB
  • With the infrastructure now in place, GP Bullhound expects that online display sales via RTB could increase towards 50 percent of the market in the US
  • European penetration rates are expected to catch up with the US and RTB sped could reach $4 billion in 2017
  • Mobile and video are the key drivers of growth
  • Consolidation is coming and GP Bullhound predict we’ll see a wave of M&A which will be driven by ‘the need for scale, customers, multi-channel capability, internationalisation, and late entrants acquiring RTB expertise’
  • Finally, here’s a map detailing the market presence of the various players (some of the companies have since expanded/retracted since the research was produced):
    Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 18.03.54

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