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Ooyala buys video ad tech company Videoplaza

The acquisition will help online video management company Ooyala become a video ads server

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
October 20, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/39df

Online video management company Ooyala, which was bought by telecommunications company Telstra in August, has just made its first ever acquisition. 

The company announced on Monday that it has purchased video as tech startup Videoplaza. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Ooyala is an online video management company, providing its clients with tools to aid them with publishing video, as well as analytics and monetization. They can calculate ROI, identify high-CPM audience segment, and deliver video to any device.

For example, if a person goes to ESPN's website from their iPad to watch clips from a recent basketball game, the content discovery tool would then monitor the viewer's habits based on that given device and might suggest follow-up content of a similar length that others watching that show enjoyed. 

One thing that Ooyala did not do, however, is serve video ads, Jonathan Wilner, VP of Products at Ooyala, told me in an interview. Hence why it picked up Videoplaza, to become a more complete provider of video products.

Though the company "worked with lots of ad servers," such as Doubeclick and Liverail, having Videoplaza's technology "allows us to combine real time analytics and content discovery with ad serving, and to run a profitable media company," Wilner said.

The two companies, that were founded around the same time in 2007, had worked together for a long time and made mutual customers. But, more importantly, they had a "similar culture and similar goals."

"We were excited to find another startup with a culture similar to ours and full of fantastic entrepreneurs. You don’t often find folks that have that same kind of feeling, of always feeling like a startup, but still being ready to take on new things," said Wilnet. "We are super excited at having these two entrepreneurial startups, both built from the ground up, now helping some of the biggest media companies in the world make more money."

Based in London, Videoplaza's geography also seems to have factored into Ooyala's decision to buy the company. The company has deep roots in Europe, and a large development center in Stockholm, Sweden.

Though Wilnet says that Ooyala has been successful in Europe, especially in France, Videoplaza has an even larger customer base of "successful media companies" on the continent.

As for the benefit to Videoplaza, they will now have access to Ooyala's analytics platform to know what ads to run, and for which viewers, at the right time. In addition, the merger will allow the company to bring its products to the United States for the first time.

As per the deal, Videoplaza will remain as an independent company under the Ooyala umbrella, selling its own products. Clients will not have to sign up for one company to be a customer of the other.

"We love everything about the company, from the team to the tech and the product and location," Said Wilnet.

Videoplaza Founder and Chief Executive Officer Sorosh Tavakoli and his executive team will lead Ooyala's video advertising business line, as its ad serving solution, Karbon, and programmatic trading platform, Konnect, are added to the Ooyala product portfolio. 

"While Ooyala helps media companies build the largest possible audiences online, Videoplaza helps them extract as much value as possible from that audience," Tavakoli wrote in a blog post.

"In time, our combined platforms will offer a more holistic view of a publisher’s digital video business, including granular data on not only what, how and where people are watching, but also where and how they can make the most money. Stay tuned on this front."

Some of the companies using Ooyala technology include Univision, Foxtel, Comedy Central, NBC Universal, ESPN, Telegraph Media Group, Telefonica, The North Face, Rolling Stone, Dell, Sephora and Yahoo! Japan. 

Founded in 2007 by Sean Knapp, Belsasar Lepe and Bismarck Lepe, all former Google employees, the company had raised a total of $122 million, from investors that included Rembrandt Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures, Telstra Ventures, CID Group, ITOCHU Corporation and Ron Conway.

Videoplaza has raised around $18 million, most recently a $12 million round in February of 2012.

(Image source: ooyala.com)


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