The £200m, Israel-based video adtech company Tremor is acquiring the video advertising platform Unruly from News Corp in an equity/deferred revenue deal which values the company at about 15% of the £58m upfront cash paid by News Corp in 2015. It is unknown how much News Corp may have paid subsequently to the former Unruly shareholders.
Unruly is involved in the production of outstream ads which appear in articles but do not sit within publishers’ own video players. The loss-making company, which is believed never to have been fully integrated into News Corp, generated £43.5m in revenue and an EBITDA loss of £8.8m in its last financial year. It’s a mildly embarrassing bit of M&A for News Corp, as indicated by the illogically elaborate media attempt to portray the divestment as some kind of constructive JV. But it’s small beer for the Murdoch-controlled group.
Tremor, which was founded 13 years ago as Marimedia, has had a complicated history of its own. It became Taptica in 2014. Last year, it merged with adtech company RhythmOne (previously known as Blinkx) and then changed its corporate name once again, to Tremor International.
Digiday says: “The ad tech sector is beset with a host of challenges, ranging from new data regulations, increased demands from advertisers for more transparency and the continued dominance of Google and Facebook. While there are a smattering of high performers like publicly-traded The Trade Desk, many other companies have downsized, filed for bankruptcy or gone out of business altogether in recent months. Venture investors have largely cooled on the sector and an ad tech IPO hasn’t occurred in some years.”