Company hopes mobile expansion will attract branding dollars from its existing performance clients.
Representing further consolidation in the mobile marketing space, ValueClick has acquired mobile display ad network Greystripe for $70 million. The company hopes the purchase will help it unlock more of advertisers' branding budgets, and better position it to capitalize on continued predicted growth in the mobile marketing space.
Prior to the acquisition, ValueClick's Media division had "a very nascent, organic mobile initiative, but didn't have scale," the company's VP of corporate development and investor relations, Gary J. Fuges, told ClickZ. "That's exactly why Greystripe was so attractive," he said.
ValueClick's existing solutions focus heavily on lead generation and direct response marketing services, through businesses such as its Commission Junction affiliate marketing platform. However, Fuges said the company saw an opportunity to diversify its offerings and to open up access to branding budgets previously unavailable to it.
"Most of what we do is direct response, but this acquisition allows us to take a branding offering the brands we already work with," Fuges said, suggesting it plans to sell mobile ads to existing clients for its other offerings like Commission Junction.
San Francisco-based Greystripe sells and serves mobile display ads across more than 3,000 mobile apps and websites, and claims to reach over 30 million users on a monthly basis.
Following the acquisition, its 39 staffers will be retained, and will operate as a wholly owned ValueClick subsidiary. The Greystripe branding will likely be retained in some form, Fuges said, in order to retain the traction it's already gained in the marketplace.
Following the integration of the new business, ValueClick will also look for synergies and parallels with its existing ValueClick Media business. Though the mobile side of that business has been diminutive to date, Fuges said existing relationships with publishers in the online space could potentially result in those partners pushing their mobile inventory through Greystripe's network, for example.
The company said it looked at a number of options besides Greystripe for its expansion into the mobile arena, but felt that the company's management, culture, and business model was most aligned with its own.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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