Telenor Buys Into Ad-Tech

Telenor Group said it has inked a deal to acquire 95% of marketing technology firm Tapad Inc. in a deal valued at $360 million.

Tapad CEO Are Traasdahl and fellow co-founder Dag Liodden have retained a 5% stake in Tapad. The primary sellers are Are Traasdahl and Tapad’s lead investor, FirstMark Capital.

Founded in 2010, New York-based Tapad’s claim to fame is a “unified cross-device marketing technology” platform for publishers and marketers, extending to smartphones, tablets, home computers and smart TVs. The vendor’s “Device Graph” uses data collected from those devices to help its clients measure and monetize their audiences across media platforms.

Tapad said the company was in line to pull in revenues of $57 million in 2015,  up 70% from 2014, alone with an EBITDA loss of $12 million.

“With the acquisition of Tapad, Telenor Group is taking a position within the rapidly growing market for advertising technology, and securing important competence within digital marketing and analytics,” Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke said in a statement. “I believe significant value can be created from applying marketing technology to improve the digital capabilities of our core telecom business. This will improve our understanding of customer behaviour, and supports building a platform for other business areas.” 

“We are thrilled to join the Telenor family. With more than 200 million mobile subscribers in 13 markets, Telenor is one of the largest and most successful telecom companies globally. I am excited by what this acquisition means for our employees, our partners and our continued growth. This will accelerate our vision to become the worlds’ leading provider of unified digital marketing solutions,” added Traasdahl.