Criteo has acquired fellow French email marketing and retargeting company Tedemis for €17 million up front with €4 million deferred (based on mutually agreed upon milestones), further underscoring the importance of email data in ad tech.
“Criteo and Tedemis are part of the wave to tie different channels together for a more integrated digital marketing experience,” commented Ray Wang, chairman and CEO of Constellation Research. “The combination will help both of the companies improve their mobile ad presence.”
Martin Kihn, research director at Gartner Research, said the acquisition highlights two challenges in programmatic and in retargeting: “The conundrum of mobile display, and a growing appetite to integrate advertising and marketing automation.”
Tedemis’ technology will enable Criteo to augment first-party data (like CRM and email), Kihn explained, and apply that enhanced data to trigger-based marketing and retargeting. This could occur through display advertising or via email inserts.
Criteo’s acquisition follows a trend in which email data continues to be an enterprise and ad tech investment target. For instance, programmatic email targeting solution LiveIntent raised $20 million and retargeting platform AdRoll acquired email startup Userfox. According to Experian Marketing Services 2013 Email Marketing Study figures, about half of all unique email opens now occur on a mobile device, making it a ripe purveyor for media.
Criteo's latest move echoes TellApart's go last fall to snap up email marketing optimization player AdStack; CEO Josh McFarland then touted the email login as a way to foster "longevity" of identity cross-device.
“The increased consumption of email via mobile presents an exciting opportunity for advertisers,” said Criteo COO Eric Eichmann in a statement. “We will be deploying Tedemis’ solution starting with our key markets as part of Criteo’s expanded product portfolio and we are delighted to welcome the Tedemis team to Criteo.”
Ultimately, this deal helps expand Criteo’s clout in cross-channel and marketing automation.
“I don’t think anybody would have predicted this, but the lowly email turns out to be a great way to communicate with people,” Kihn noted. “It’s usually permission-based, or quasi-permission-based and mobile-friendly. … I think we’ll be seeing more moves like this by ad tech providers in the future.”
Criteo, which went public last October, reported revenues of €54.9 million in the fourth quarter, excluding traffic acquisition costs, a 55.3% increase from one year earlier. Mobile has been of paramount importance to the company as it begins to activate mobile inventory across its network of 6,600 publisher partners and pushes more mobile products with deep-linking capabilities stemming from its acquisition of mobile platform AD-X Tracking.
Due to the large and growing target market of consumers across different devices and channels, "email was a natural expansion area for us," a Criteo spokesperson told AdExchanger. Tedemis, they claimed, was the "natural choice" for purchase in the marketplace, presenting synergies in similar cost-per-click based models.
Tedemis, founded in 2006, has 200 customers and Criteo counts more than 5,000. Although Tedemis did not disclose its employee head count, its LinkedIn profile pins the number at 11 to 50. Criteo has 800 employees.
Tedemis works with 50 publishers and 200 advertisers.
This story has been updated with comment from Criteo.
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