Israel's Matomy Buys U.S. Performance Marketer MediaWhiz

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mediawhizTel Aviv-based CPA network Matomy Media Group has purchased MediaWhiz, a U.S.-based direct response marketer that operates the second-ranked affiliate network. The acquisition brings together two big online direct marketing players, and expands Matomy's U.S. footprint.

Purchase price and other terms weren't disclosed for the deal, which closed on December 31

For Matomy, the deal brings a large affiliate network, MonetizeIt; an SEO business called TLA; and White Delivery, an email product; along with offerings in "data acquisition" and display media.

MediaWhiz will keep its name, corporate branding, and distinct brands, but gets a new CEO with the acquisition. Hakan Lindskog was previously chief executive at CPA network Neverblue. Prior to the sale, some existing members of MediaWhiz's executive team left the company, among them CEO John Kuendig and President Ed Kats, but a representative says the departures weren't related to the company's sale and other MediaWhiz management team will remain post-acquisition.

MediaWhiz says the deal "enhances our ability to provide a seamless support structure along the entire path-to-purchase -- from awareness (via display advertising), to customer leads and acquisition, to mobile and data acquisition."

Matomy has been busy over the past two years. In July 2011 it bought Denver-based performance marketing agency Adperio for $30 million. That was its first move in the U.S., but with today's acquisition MediaWhiz says it will be the new North American hub for Matomy going forward.  Also in 2011, Matomy combined its Adsmarket, XTEND and Matomy units into a single brand, the Matomy Media Group.

Both companies have a history with programmatic media trading. Matomy was one of the first media partners on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange when it launched, but had to withdraw as Google's policies "limited and eventually prevented publisher networks from operating on the platform," previous Matomy Media CEO Adi Orzel told AdExchanger.

Speaking with AdExchanger, new CEO Lindskog said, "This deal is all about the synergies. Having access to Matomy will give MediaWhiz the opportunity to drive traffic to our existing clients from Matomy's display network, from their mobile network, and also from their search marketing capability. It's going to allow us to increase the traffic, and provide stable and steady traffic to our customers from Matomy's sources. "

Below, Lindskog addresses the deal's implications for MediaWhiz's business, particularly with regard to programmatic media and mobile.

AdExchanger: Today's announcement focused on the affiliate network, but MediaWhiz describes itself as an agency. What is MediaWhiz?

HAKAN LINDSKOG: The beauty of MediaWhiz is it has a wide variety of traffic sourcs. That means that for many of the clients that we work with we can provide many different traffic sources. We can provide email traffic, display traffic, search traffic. And we can augment all of those traffic sources with third party affiliate traffic as well. That really is what is unique about MediaWhiz, that it has a gigantic affiliate publisher base and can provide high quality affiliate traffic to our clients.

When you think of programmatic and real time bidding, what is MediaWhiz doing today?

Matomy had a vast network of publishers that are part of the Matomy display network. Programmatic media buying is really only one part of Matomy display network. Many other parts of it is a more traditional display network. But I think Matomy's [programmatic] media buying is going to fit with MediaWhiz. We have strong reason to believe that kind of display traffic is going to work very well for many clients both in the education vertical and the finance vertical. That's going to test and prove out over the next couple of months.

What does the deal accomplish on the mobile front?

That is a very important synergy. Matomy is already far along in mobile lead generation. MediaWhiz will get access to campaigns, traffic and technology in mobile media. That's going to allow MediaWhiz to jumpstart our participation in the mobile lead generation marketplace. That's a very important point.

What did MediaWhiz have previously in mobile lead generation? 

MediaWhiz already has a presence in the mobile lead gen marketplace, but it hasn't been a very active presence. Having access to all the resources, relations, and technology in mobile on the Matomy side is going to allow us to really start expanding our mobile business quite significantly, during 2013.

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