Two months after the Media Ratings Council (MRC) green-lighted viewable impressions as a viable metric for transacting display ads, real-time bidding platform AppNexus has acquired French viewability vendor Alenty for an undisclosed sum.
The deal closed Monday, AppNexus confirmed to AdExchanger.
Paris-based Alenty was founded in 2007 by CEO Laurent Nicolas and CTO Nicolas Thomas. It claims to have been the first company to measure in-view impressions. Since then, its niche has been flooded with competitors, including comScore, Google, C3 Metrics, DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science. In all, 11 viewability vendors have been accredited by the MRC.
But the technology has been legally contentious. In 2012 comScore sued three of its rivals – DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and Moat – for infringement of its intellectual property around viewability. The last of those lawsuits was settled in late 2013.
Alenty serves clients on both the demand and supply side, including advertisers, agencies, ad networks and publishers. It employs approximately 18 people, who will join AppNexus' staff of around 550.
The acquisition comes ahead of AppNexus's London Summit this week, where the company will talk up its recent developments – including the launch of direct deals functionality called Twixt – and seek to consolidate its strength in the European market.
Separately, AppNexus is reportedly weighing a new funding round of as much as $100 million, and Alibaba Group is among its potential investors. The Wall Street Journal reported late last week that the new infusion could value the company at $1 billion or more.
The funding consideration follows the recent appointment of former 24/7 Media CEO Jonathan Hsu as chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Hsu's hire has also been seen by some as a possible precursor to a public offering, though that option is now seen as less attractive in the wake of the public markets drubbing lately suffered by a number of ad tech companies.
More to come.
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