Cox buys Adify for $300 million

John Shinal · April 28, 2008 · Short URL:

It was just a month ago that Adify CEO Russ Fraidin told me that he thought his company would be worth more than $300 million "sooner rather than later."

Turns out he was right.

Cox Communications has agreed to acquire the company, according to Russ's blog on Adify.

"As Adify began raising our third round of financing to fund our expansion, Cox Enterprises, based in Atlanta, expressed interest in acquiring us. Although Adify was not seeking an acquirer, Cox’s history, resources, and people demonstrated that it would be a very compatible business partner and the perfect home for our company," he wrote.

Adify was sold for $300 million, plus possible earnouts, less than two years after it formally launched.  That's in the same ballpark as the $300 million Yahoo paid for Blue Lithium and the $275 million AOL bought Tacoda for.  

Adify, which provides a technology platform and back-office systems to about 100 online publishers, had raised $8 million in funding and was out raising more when someone from Cox yelled "we want it all!"

Given the news, I've reposted my interview with Fraidin, in which he says the company would be profitable this year and that between $75 million and $125 million in ads would run across the networks that use Adify.

Since the company keeps anywhere between 40% and 70% of that total, depending on its client, the midpoint of all those numbers would suggest annual revenue somewhere close to $50 million.

The entry of Cox into the acquisition spree for ad networks suggests the cable provider is intent on driving more of its content online. More buyers is also good news for the remaining independent ad networks, including Federated Media, which just raised a round at a valuation of $200 million.

In previous interviews with, Fraidin talked about syndication and other aspects of online advertising and entrepreneurship  

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