Rubicon Project, Telaria Rename Company Magnite

(Image credit: Magnite)

Three months after the acquisition of Telaria by Rubicon Project, the company is renaming itself Magnite and claiming that it operates the largest independent omnichannel sell-side platform in the industry, including expertise in the fast-growing connected TV space.

The new company will adopt the Nasdaq ticker symbol MGNI effective July 1.

president and CEO of Magnite and the former CEO of Rubicon Project

Michael Barrett, president and CEO of Magnite and the former CEO of Rubicon Project (Image credit: Magnite)

“Uniting our rich technology, experience and partnerships under the Magnite brand brings us closer to being an essential partner for publishers and buyers. Now, more than ever, our industry needs an independent alternative to the walled gardens. At Magnite, we believe that collaboration is the path to a thriving ecosystem that works for everyone,” said Michael Barrett, president and CEO of Magnite and the former CEO of Rubicon Project.

Rubicon announced on June 18 that Mark Zagorski, who had been CEO of Telaria and was president and COO of the combined company, was resigning, effective the end of the month.

The launch of Magnite comes as the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating changes in the behavior of viewers as they spend more time in front of screens watching connected TV, and, at the same time, pushing advertisers to reach those viewers via CTV.

The merger was designed to combine Rubicon’s expertise in programmatic sales with Telaria’s experience with CTV, which was easier and quicker to buy than to try to develop internally, Barrett said. The combined company also gets to work with the publishers Telaria already had CTV relationships with, instead of trying to compete to win that business.

“Now we’re able to go to publishers and help them with all their inventory,” he said.

While it combines the Rubicon and Telaria platforms, it is working to present clients with a seamless front-end experience.

Having a company with a stronger balance sheet will help in an industry that is looking for safety and quality in its business partners

He expects to see more consolidation. “There’s going to be fewer and fewer players,” he said. People have been talking about it for the past five years, but finally, I think the day of reckoning is here.”

Barrett added that Magnite is seeing opportunities open from an M&A standpoint that we probably didn't envision three months ago. He said the companies approaching Magnite mostly have technology that will give it additional functions and capabilities.

Despite the pandemic, which has forced people to work remotely, Barrett said the integration of the companies went “shockingly well.” He said that with real estate issues no longer being a part of the integration plans, things moved faster and smoother. “It actually accelerated the integration, but there are probably a thousand things that aren’t happening that I wish was happening."

Combining the companies has also led to cost synergies. Rubicon promised Wall Street between $15 million and $20 million in savings. With the COVID-19 recession, Magnite was able to sharpen its pencils and achieved its savings goals, “and then some,” he said.

Barrett said the company looked at about 40 names before selecting Magnite. “There’s a certain magnetic aspect in that we’re bringing two companies together,” he said. “Magnite sounds like it’s a mineral that’s been around, and might even have some super-power capabilities.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.