Independent Ad Tech Players Merge to Form Major Marketplace

Equativ and Sharethrough this week announced their merger. This move aims to create one of the world's largest independent ad marketplaces.

Equativ and Sharethrough
Equativ and Sharethrough

Equativ and Sharethrough this week announced their merger. This move aims to create one of the world's largest independent ad marketplaces, offering increased options for advertisers, media owners, and technology partners.

The combined entity boasts over 720 employees across 18 countries and a combined net recurring revenue exceeding $200 million. This merger positions the new company as a significant competitor to "walled gardens" – dominant platforms that control large swaths of online advertising. The focus is on providing an independent, vertically integrated alternative that prioritizes efficiency and innovation at scale.

Equativ, backed by investment firm Bridgepoint, has tripled in size over the past three years. Both Equativ and Sharethrough experienced year-over-year growth in Q1 2024 (16% and 20%, respectively). This growth is attributed to strategic partnerships and a rise in revenue from areas like curation, CTV (connected TV), and green media products.

By leveraging their combined technological assets and global network, the merged company offers a broader range of services with a focus on sustainable media practices. Here's a breakdown of some potential benefits for key stakeholders:

Advertisers

  • Access to Equativ's industry-leading server-side ad insertion (SSAI) technology and advanced video & CTV strategies.
  • The ability to leverage Sharethrough's ad platform for high-performance campaigns with a focus on user attention.
  • Options for reducing carbon footprint through Sharethrough's Green Media Products.
  • Access to premium inventory through Equativ Buyer Connect (EBC).
  • A suite of privacy-first addressability solutions from both companies.

Media Owners

  • The opportunity to drive addressable live TV advertising and amplify yield with Equativ's programmatic video ad tech stack.
  • Access to additional demand through Equativ Buyer Connect.
  • Potential for fairer value distribution across the advertising ecosystem.

Equativ's Trajectory: Growth in Programmatic Advertising

Equativ, founded in 2012, has established itself as a key player in the programmatic advertising space. Programmatic advertising refers to the automated buying and selling of ad inventory through real-time auctions. Over the past decade, Equativ has grown significantly, particularly through its focus on privacy-first programmatic video, CTV, and data-driven solutions. The company's headquarters are located in Paris and New York, with international teams positioned to serve a global advertising market.

Sharethrough's Focus on User Attention and Sustainability

Sharethrough, established in 2008, has carved out a niche in the ad exchange space by prioritizing user experience and sustainability. The company's ad exchange platform utilizes research-backed ad enhancements to maximize user attention and advertiser performance across various ad formats, including video, CTV, display, and native advertising. Furthermore, Sharethrough curates ad inventory with a focus on directness, sustainability, and overall quality. These efforts have been recognized by the industry, with Sharethrough receiving awards for Best Sustainable Ad Tech Platform and Best Sustainable Initiative.

Leadership Perspective

Both Equativ and Sharethrough CEOs expressed enthusiasm about the merger. Arnaud Créput, CEO of Equativ, highlighted the complementary nature of the two companies' offerings and their potential to become a top-three independent SSP (Supply-Side Platform) globally. JF Cote, CEO of Sharethrough, emphasized the cultural compatibility between the companies and the potential for new levels of scalability.

JF Cote, President & CEO of Sharethrough and Arnaud Créput, CEO of Equativ
JF Cote, President & CEO of Sharethrough and Arnaud Créput, CEO of Equativ

Jean-Baptiste Salvin, Partner at Bridgepoint Development Capital, a key investor in Equativ, expressed strong support for the merger. He anticipates the combined entity will redefine the programmatic advertising landscape and create significant value for stakeholders.

The merger of Equativ and Sharethrough represents a significant consolidation within the independent ad tech space. The combined company's offerings and global reach have the potential to disrupt the dominance of walled gardens and provide more options for advertisers and media owners. The long-term impact of this merger on the programmatic advertising landscape remains to be seen.


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