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Toronto’s SiteScout sold to ad firm Centro for $40-million

SiteScout CEO Paul Mokbel.

SiteScout CEO Paul Mokbel. Toronto-based real-time advertising bid platform developer SiteScout has been acquired for $40 million by advertising technology firm Centro, of Chicago.

SiteScout currently employs 33 people, serves approximately 4,000 clients, and last year quietly raked in $20 million in revenue, according to most estimates.

The acquisition resolves SiteScout’s challenge of scale. SiteScout had developed a compelling self-serve platform that solved a real challenge for the difficult problem of real-time ad buying for its client base, most of whom were small-to-medium enterprises. Being acquired by Centro takes SiteScout’s analytics dashboard and takes it to a new level.

The real-time advertising exchange market is just fragmented and confusing enough that this type of consolidation makes sense. Donnie Williams, Chief Digital Officer for Horizon Media, summarized the situation this way. “We have known that at some point, media software will need to consolidate so we can more easily track, analyze and measure performance and attribution through individual platforms end-to-end. With this in mind, Centro’s vision to develop a single platform for all inventory and channels makes a ton of sense.”

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Paul Mokbel, SiteScout CEO, echoes that concern. “The digital advertising industry is flooded with various solutions that create complexity for agencies and marketers. Advertisers want a unified platform that empowers them to plan and execute 100% of their digital media operations. Both SiteScout and Centro are committed to automating and simplifying the fragmented digital advertising landscape.”

The value of SiteScout’s platform was that it presented the user with a comprehensive (and comprehensible) analytics dashboard, offering the advertiser at least the sense of a feeling of control over the otherwise overwhelming world of real-time targeted advertising.

Sourcing Google’s AdX, The Rubicon Project, OpenX, Pubmatic and MoPub, among other online ad exchanges, SiteScout’s platform accessed more than 21 billion impressions per day.

The deal will bring SiteScout’s platform access to Centro’s sales, service and operation team, numbering 370 in 33 U.S. markets, as well as its existing network of 1,200 agencies and 5,700 marketers.

“Together we’ll deliver a unified stack across all media, including guaranteed and biddable, that leverages predictive data and analytics to power any campaign objective,” said Centro CEO Shawn Riegsecker. This year, Centro will facilitate more than $250 million in media buying between ad sellers and agencies.

Paul Mokbel, SiteScout CEO, will be joining Centro’s executive team. For SiteScout’s existing customers, the acquisition means integration of the platform they’re familiar with into Centro’s buying platform, as well as exposure to its larger marketplace.

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