Sharethrough Acquires VAN And Moves Into Europe

Sharethrough VanNative ad exchange Sharethrough has acquired UK-based content distribution platform VAN in the hopes of expanding into the European market.

The acquisition price was not disclosed, but VAN’s 2013 revenue was $2 million. VAN’s sales team will be an asset, as will its strength in the automotive, entertainment and lifestyle verticals. Its clients, like UKTV, BBC, Car Throttle and Philips, will start transitioning onto the Sharethrough platform.

“VAN brings an expertise in the brand content distribution market, which they have developed through meaningful business relationships on both the advertiser and publisher sides,” said Sharethrough President Patrick Keane. “Sharethrough’s technology will enable the VAN team to scale their original vision of premium branded content distribution to all forms of content, across all platforms.”

The acquisition of VAN will help provide a “launchpad” for Sharethrough to “quickly become a force in the European market,” Keane said. The company is also opening an international headquarters in London.

Keane sees it as a case of market readiness. European publishers are feeling the same pressures as publishers in the US, tasked with “finding additional revenue streams on mobile and media options that can be complementary to sponsored content campaigns.”

The acquisition gives it a head start in a market that Keane said is ready to embrace native formats as it seeks to monetize mobile. “There’s a big opportunity for native, in-feed advertising in the European markets, and the demand-and supply-side opportunities are significant,” Keane said.

The Sharethrough platform has seen early success among UK customers, including Car Throttle. “We’ve seen record click-through rates on these units due to the great content ads … which our users actually love,” said Adnan Ebrahim, CEO of Car Throttle. “The platform has become one of our fastest-growing revenue streams.”

In the US, Sharethrough said its exchange has a reach of 230 million uniques a month, with dozens of large brands on board, including Time Inc., Forbes, Gannett and Business Insider.

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