Tech Service Provider Inmar Steps Into Programmatic With OwnerIQ Acquisition

Inmar, a tech and data services company, acquired the ad tech startup OwnerIQ on Tuesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

OwnerIQ is best-known for its second-party data exchange, where retailers can enable brands carried in stores to promote deals to known shoppers. The company also operates a DSP, which will help expand Inmar’s business with retailers and brand manufacturers.

OwnerIQ is at the conjunction of two of Inmar’s major investment priorities: media buying and ecommerce content tech, said CEO David Mounts.

Inmar already has solutions for ecommerce and retail site management, payment processing, influencer marketing and customer text or email messaging. Mounts said OwnerIQ extends those consumer touch points to its programmatic pipes and second-party data-sharing technology.

The goal is for Inmar’s existing services and customer base base to “enable transparent purchasing and shopping data” between retailers and brands, Mounts said.

Inmar is among a set of well-funded players, including IRI, Ahalogy and direct competitor Quotient, trying to achieve scale in ecommerce data and advertising technology.

Inmar has been particularly aggressive, having staked an early position in the influencer category almost three years ago, when it acquired the platform Collective Bias, which is now Inmar’s Prescriptive IQ product.

In 2017, the Canadian private equity firm OMERS took over Inmar and, soon after, the company acquired IRC, which provides product-tracking services for grocery brands; the pharma supply chain company Capital Returns; and YouTech, formerly Kroger’s digital coupon and publishing unit.

Only a few retailers have the resources and technology to operate their own data and media platforms, and even the most sophisticated, like Walmart, Target and Kroger, still rely on third-party tech services, Mounts said.

The opportunity is to sit directly between the brand and the retailer, as digital media and ecommerce forms a new connective tissue from old-school coupon and shopper marketing, he said. “What we’re hearing from clients on both sides is that they want those data and ad services integrated in one place.”

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