News & Views
24/02/17 / news

Deconstructing: The Turn acquisition by Singtel

What Happened?

Amobee, the advertising and data division of SingTel, one of Asia’s largest telcos, have announced their acquisition of Turn for US$310 million.

Expected to be completed within the first half of the year, Turn is yet another example of the continuing consolidation occurring in the industry.

Who are Amobee?

Amobee were acquired by SingTel in 2012 in order to expand the telco’s advertising capability.

In the years since, Amobee and SingTel have proceeded with a string of acquisitions:

– Adjitsu, a 3D technology business

– Gradient X, a RTB platform

– Adconion, a performance marketing platform

– Kontera, a content marketing platform

SingTel obviously have a plan.

Best known for their mobile capability, Amobee have been looking to accelerate growth and become a leading full stack solution for some time now. The acquisition of Turn serves to cement this position and provide a launching board for the company’s expansion into the Asia Pacific.

 “To differentiate and capitalize on the growing market opportunity, we will offer world-class technology paired with advanced data and insights.” – Amobee CEO Kim Perell.

As a result of the Acquisition, Amobee’s consumer insights platform, cookie-less identification and deterministic device graph will be integrated with the Turn DMP.

Turn will also gain exclusive access to SingTel’s cross-device data and will have social platforms Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, Twitter and Pinterest integrated into the Turn omnichannel DSP.

What does this mean for the industry?

Valuations on the decline…

The remarkable thing is it has taken this long for Turn to be acquired, who have been the subject of a speculation for a number of years.  At $310m, the valuation is perhaps lower than most would have expected suggesting an increasing scepticism around the valuation of commoditised technology.  Although we’re not quite at the fire sale stage, the slow progress of innovation and consolidation is contributing to a lack of certainty.

DMPs in demand

If the last few months has taught us anything, it is that Data Management Platforms are hot in demand.  First with Krux, then Neustar, and now Turn as the acquirers look to complete their stack with data management capabilities.  The obvious question now is where this leaves the remaining pure play DSPs & SSPs especially in light of some recent high profile restructuring and profitability warnings.

Software businesses keep a firm hold on AdTech

Many expected the ‘big 4’ consultancies to move into the AdTech with some high profile acquisitions of their own but the reality is most of notable acquisitions have been carried by established SaaS/MarTech businesses to extend their full stack solutions.  As for the consultancies, their focus has been largely on acquiring service businesses, especially those in the content & analytics space.

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