Facebook to Buy Ad Tech Company LiveRail

/ Jul 2, 2014


Facebook plans to acquire video advertising tech company LiveRail, which works with publishers and content providers to increase ad revenue on their sites and platforms.

Founded in 2007, LiveRail is one of the biggest video advertising platforms — especially in the US. For instance, as recently as May, the company was ranked third by comScore in terms of the percentage of people it reaches in the US (37.2%). Overall, LiveRail says it delivers upwards of 7 billion ads per month. This is helped by the fact that LiveRail’s clients include high-profile content providers like ABC, A&E Networks, MLB.com, and Dailymotion.

Founded by Andrei Dunca and Mark Trefgarne (who currently serve as the CTO and CEO, respectively), LiveRail currently employs 170 people across four offices.

“When we started talking to the team at Facebook about how we could work together, it quickly became clear that we shared a vision for the future of digital advertising,” said CEO Trefgarne in a statement. “They believed, as we do, that publishers deserve a new generation of audience-aware advertising technology.”

While financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, it’s likely to be a fine exit for LiveRail and its investors. The ad-tech space, while becoming increasingly relevant as video ad budgets get bigger and bigger for online video, has not exactly lit it up. Companies that have gone public have seen their shares dive, while others continue to compete in an increasingly cluttered space.

That said, for Facebook, this deal also provides reach beyond its own borders. The social giant has spent the past year increasing its investment in video and video advertising. While it can provide access to a massive audience on its social network, oversight of a company like LiveRail, which as mentioned before works with many major publishers, gives the company the chance to target users when they leave its network.

Facebook hasn’t confirmed what its plans are for LiveRail, though it appears the company will continue to operate its own business.

Additional reporting by Sahil Patel

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