TripleLift Snags 1plusX For $150 Million, Its First-Ever Acquisition – AdExchanger

TripleLift, once a scrappy gen-two ad tech startup (though by now a grizzled programmatic veteran), announced its first-ever acquisition on Monday, spending $150 million for Swiss publisher data company 1plusX.

1plusX had raised just over $17 million since it was founded in 2014.

The acquisition is meant to bolster TripleLift’s two-pronged focus on CTV and identity, TripleLift Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder Ari Lewine told AdExchanger.

TripleLift has sponsored content integration tech and identity solutions for programmatic advertising without third-party cookies.

The best way to think about 1plusX, which solves for the identity challenge, is as a revamped version of DMP designed to address post-cookie advertising.

The 1plusX technology plugs directly into a publisher’s first-party site and app data, which it uses to create lookalike audiences and ID matches. As a company based in Europe, 1plusX sets a high bar for itself in terms of privacy rigor.

The value of third-party cookies was their ubiquity – but they were far from perfect.

“Nowadays, even with third-party cookies ostensibly still around, they’re only identifiable half the time in programmatic,” Lewine said.

1plusX’s publisher data often outperforms the value of a third-party cookie in head-to-head testing, he said.

Although it’s almost not a fair fight. Around half the time, its opponent, the cookie, doesn’t even show up.

Always open

But what does this deal mean for SSPs or ad tech companies that work with 1plusX and compete with TripleLift, or vice versa?

“We both come from an open programmatic ecosystem,” Lewine said of TripleLift and 1plusX. In many cases, TripleLift, 1plusX and another DMP will work concurrently with the same publisher, he said.

Although acquiring 1plusX’s publisher data tech could end up being a sweetener for smaller publishers.

Licensing 1plusX’s service can be “cost-prohibitive,” Lewine said, especially since TripleLift has many mid-tail or long-tail publishers in its network of 1,500. The 1plusX client base indexes towards international media and the company works with many large news publications, including Fox, the French publisher Le Figaro and German news giant Axel Springer, which previously invested in 1plusX.

But TripleLift can “democratize” the tech, Levine said, including 1plusX’s first-party data clean room product, by creating more affordable features within TripleLift. For example, TripleLift could give publishers the ability to create seed audiences using 1plusX data or provide modeled data when a third-party cookie isn’t present.

Lewine said the company will launch those new features this year.

TripleLift has ample coin in its pocket to make a splashy first acquisition like. It was itself acquired last April by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. Vista bought TripleLift just as it was preparing to take Integral Ad Science public. (Vista acquired IAS in 2018.)

“This allows us to invest aggressively when we need to,” Lewine said.

One of 1plusX’s direct competitors, Permutive, raised $75 million in November 2021, and another, Carbon, was acquired by Magnite in February. The space is clearly hot.

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