110799 was bought by AOL: who could be next?

AOL spent $405 million on the video advertising platform, one of its largest acquisitions ever

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
August 7, 2013
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(Updated to reflect an updated description of TubeMogul)

Earlier today it was announced that AOL had purchased Web video company for $405 million. It is one of AOL's largest acquisition ever, even more than the $315 million it paid for the Huffington Post in 2011. is a video advertising platform. It provides publishers and advertisers with automated tools to plan, buy and measure across linear TV and online video. Its flagship product is OneSource, which provides a single point of control to serve and manage ads, both from in-house and third party sources, in all major video formats, using the existing display ad server. supported over 26,000 global ad campaigns last year, which ran on roughly 9,500 websites and was used by many of the top brand advertisers.

So, as we like to do here at Vator when there is a big acquisition or funding round, we are going to take a look at the space and see what other companies are out there that might be affected by this news.

And the acquisition by AOL, will have an overall positive effect on the space in general, said David Burch, Director of Communications at TubeMogul, a rival video ad platform.

"We view this as broadly good for us. It means that companies that are focused on technology are valued higher than some of the ad networks that are more media arbitragers," he said. 

What he meant by that was that companies like and TubeMogul are more focus on technology than the traditional ad networks, which buy inventory en mass, bundle it and sell it to advertisers. They bundle good stuff with the bad, and the advertisers do not have as much control.

Those companies in the programmatic space, where buying and delivery of ad space is automated, act more like a software as a service, he said. With these companies the advertisers can use technology provided by these companies to buy advertisements using real-time bidding.

"We are focused on adding value to that technology rather than packaging media together," said Burch, noting that the automated buying and delivery of ads has attracted more attention in terms of investment recently than the traditional ad companies. 

"This is a hot space with tons happening  and it feels like ive never been busier. It's a great time for the market."

So who will benefit?

Here are some companies that might see the benefit from today's acquisition:


  • TubeMogul is a programmatic video advertising platform focused exclusively on the buyside of the digital media industry. Unlike ad networks, TubeMogul does not work directly with publishers and does not buy inventory and resell it. Instead, they provide a SaaSbased platform that brands and agencies use to buy media from both public and private exchanges. The platform automates the execution and optimization of video campaigns and generates analytics in real-time that are used to improve the brand impact of each campaign. The company has two revenue channels: 1) transaction revenue based on spending levels from clients who adopt TubeMogul's software platform 2) media revenue from selling campaigns at a fixed price that TubeMogul fulfills using exchange inventory bought in real-time. The company has raised $53 million, most recently a $10 million Series C from SingTel Innov8, Cross Creek Capital, Digital Advertising Consortium, Foundation Capital and Trinity Ventures.
  • BrightRoll is a video ad network and a provider of digital video advertising services. It offers the BrightRoll Exchange (BRX), an online video advertising marketplace with thousands of sites and more than 100 million monthly unique viewers. BRX offers buyers access to pools of audited inventory, transparent site-lists and audience targeting. BRX provides publishers a way to maximize monetization of their available inventory. The company has raised $46 million, most recently taking in a $30 million Series C round funding, fromTrident Capital, Scale Venture Partners, Adam Street Partners, and Comerica Bank. 
  • YuMe is a provider of digital video brand advertising solutions. It drives inventory monetization and enables advertisers to reach targeted, brand receptive audiences across a wide range of Internet-connected devices. It has raised $65 million, including a $25 million round from Menlo Ventures, Accel Partners, BV Capital, DAG Ventures and Khosla Ventures in February 2010.
  • SAY Media enables advertisers to engage social consumers through rich content experiences while helping creators monetize their work and grow their audience. The company provides ways for top brands to engage with their audiences, at scale, with a reach of more than 500 million people around the world. It has raised $60.9 million, most recently raising $27 million from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Shea Ventures Correlation Ventures and existing investors. 
  • HIRO Media provides service and technology for content owners to maximize profits from online video. Founded in 2004, the Israeli company raised a $5 million round in April of 2012.
  • LiveRail is an online video distribution and ad-platform that provides premium publishers with the technology to sell their video inventory across all devices. Founded in 2007, the company has raised $6 million.
  • SpotXchange is an online video advertising network allows advertisers and publishers to buy and sell online video advertising in an auction marketplace. The company raised $12 million from H.I.G. Growth Partners in December 2010.

Some competitors have already seen exits:

  • Broadband Enterprises (BBE) was an online video network with over 2,000 publisher websites and more than 150 premium brand advertisers.  BBE syndicated content across the network from media companies such as Comcast, iVillage, MSNBC, WashingtonPost-Newsweek Interactive and others, sharing revenue with content owners and publishers. BBE also created originally produced branded programming. The company raised $10 million in funding before it was purchased by Specific Media in October 2010.
  • Delve Networks was an online video platform that had acquired over 280 customers including the NFL, Cleveland Clinic, Prudential, Pokemon, Lego, Fidelity, Kansas City Chief and delivered 200 million streams per month. It raised nearly $10 million, before it was acquired by Limelight Networks in 2010 and it became a business unit within that company.
  •  Kiptronic offered a platform for inserting video and audio ads into digital media for consumption on any device, including web pages, iPods, smartphones and laptops, online or offline. The company worked with rich media content publishers to help them manage, measure and monetize their content. It raised $7.3 million before being scooped up by Limelight Networks in May of 2009.
  • Brightcove is a provider of cloud content services and products, which are used to publish and distribute professional digital media, including both videos and apps. Brightcove offers secure content, advertising and analytics to professional publishers. The company went public in February 2012, after raising roughly $150 million from a combination of venture capital and its IPO, including a $12 million Series E round of funding led by original Series A investors Accel Partners and General Catalyst partners in April 2010.

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