Sizmek once again had to find new funding or face bankruptcy. Cerberus wasn’t willing to shoulder the costs alone, and apparently didn’t find a private equity backer to partner on a joint investment.
Sizmek was already a “Frankenstack” of point solutions like Peer39, PointRoll and StrikeAd. The addition of Rocket Fuel and Sizmek’s plan to consolidate all of its subsidiaries onto one ad server platform was a bridge too far.
For instance, after its acquisition by Vector, Sizmek reshaped its customer support teams to be generalists across the business, Sizmek sources told AdExchanger. The idea was to lower costs by more efficiently assigning people to clients or issues. But converting specialists in things like dynamic content optimization or contextual targeting to general support for Sizmek’s ad server, DSP and the Rocket Fuel DMP took time, and rattled some clients.
Integrating Sizmek’s many point solutions into one tech platform and consolidating its business operations also made it difficult to divest a subsidiary. When Vector shopped Sizmek last year, there was interest individually in the PointRoll dynamic creative shop, Peer39 contextual targeting or just the ad server business.
Cerberus will come out a winner, after it rinses the company of debts and sells off Sizmek’s individual profitable businesses, according to sources. Sizmek still controls the largest share of the online ad server market aside from Google. The other potential winners could be buyers that score bargain bin deals on valuable point solutions or Sizmek’s ad server footprint.