Australian ad network company Max Interactive was bought by Hyderabad based digital marketing firm Ybrant Digital in an all-cash deal, the details of which were not revealed, Digital Media reported. This is the sixth acquisition that Ybrant has closed in a span of three years; the company has spent more than $29.7 million in acquisitions (excluding that of Dream Ad and Max).
It paid $13.5 million for Israeli ad firm Oridian, $4 million for US-based DW Net Ventures LLC (aka MediosOne), $2.2 million for Serbia-based Seenetix for its flagship bulk emailing product VoloMP and $10 million for US- based Pennyweb Inc. Total funds raised from external parties by Ybrant is $55 million.
Suresh Reddy, Founder and CEO of Ybrant told MediaNama that the acquisitions have been paid for by raising funds and from the company’s own pockets. From being a software services company supporting digital marketing agencies, Ybrant has now grown into an advertisement network with branches in 16 countries. Ybrant does 20 billion impressions a month and registers net sales of $60 million.
Ybrant raised $20 million from New York-based Sansar Capital Management through preference shares. Sansar, according to StreetInsider is a pan-Asian long/short fund launched in 2005 by Sanjay Motwani. Ybrant’s Red Herring prospectus filed in 2007 offers more details on the preference shares – 821,400 compulsory convertible preference (CCP) shares of Rs. 10 each were issued at Rs. 1,000 each and 100 equity shares at Rs.320 each. Of $20 million raised, $11.10 million was used in the acquisition of MediosOne, Wordcents LLC and Pennyweb Inc (AdDynamix).
Last year, when the company was planning to go public, it raised $10 million from four hedge funds in the US. Reddy would not name them but said they continue to be associated with Ybrant.
In October 2008, Ybrant raised $25 million from a Hong Kong based private equity fund called Asia Pacific Capital.
Max Interactive Pty specializes in banner advertising, search and e-mail marketing – the top three services that Ybrant wants to offer. Max’s clientele includes Vodafone, Telstra, HP, Nokia, Nissan, Citibank, American Express, Visa, Land Rover, Jack Daniels, Adobe, Qantas, Virgin and Nestlé. Its publishers include Webjet, RewardsCentral, 3 Mobile, About Seniors, MobileActive, Ski.com.au and Yakedi.
What Made Ybrant Go On An Acquisition Spree; Eyes China
“We did not plan on it. It’s all about building a business to satisfy your clients. Ramping up is costly at times and sometimes there is a cheaper way to do it. It makes sense to adopt a strategy that will immediately increase your network to new geographies, which is important for publishers today who get international traffic. Their ability to monetise depends on our reach. We wanted to be an end-to-end digital marketing company which any business can reach out to,” explains Reddy.
He added that acquisitions were not always the answer though. Like in the case of China, a region the company is targeting next for expansion. It might opt for a relationship with digital marketing agencies there. It is also looking at Japan and Korea.