Criteo To Acquire HookLogic For $250M In Push For Full Commerce Stack

criteoFrench performance marketing company Criteo will acquire HookLogic, a retail exchange, ad server and attribution company focused squarely on retailers.

The deal, a $250 million all-cash transaction, gives Criteo a brand new set of customers – including CPG advertisers like Clorox and Kraft.

HookLogic's performance marketing exchange enables these consumer brand manufacturers to bid on sponsored product ads on ecommerce and publisher sites, including those operated by Walmart, Macy's, Target and Sears.  HookLogic's CPG customers deliver ads and then measure ROI through its post-click attribution system.

The company has raised a total of $39 million.

Founded in 2004, HookLogic had revenue of $111.3 million in 2015 and a three-year growth rate of 369%, according to the latest Inc. 500/5000 revenue survey. It employed 190.

“With HookLogic’s acquisition, Criteo is adding a complementary performance marketing solution to its portfolio, focusing on delivering more value to brand manufacturers and retailers alike,” Eric Eichmann, CEO of Criteo, said in a statement.

Following the deal's closure, expected in Q4, HookLogic's products will be maintained, according to Criteo.

At face value, the deal pits Criteo and HookLogic straight up against ecommerce giant Amazon. 

Criteo has generally been regarded as one of the more successful public ad tech stories, with a market cap of more than $2 billion. While it is generally considered foremost among the retargeters that mastered last-click marketing online, it has more recently pushed to diversify its value proposition.

More than 50% of its revenue ex-TAC will be derived from mobile this year, and the company rolled out a solution dubbed Universal Match that anonymized data from some 9,300 brand customers to power cross-device matches.

"We combine as high-quality probabilistic matching as possible with a strong deterministic data set layered in," Eichmann told AdExchanger in a recent interview. "Our solution is based on a real CRM match and logins."

As a combined solution, Criteo alludes to HookLogic adding additional revenue streams, and capabilities that address both online and offline sales-attribution demands.

On a call with investors Tuesday morning, Eichmann noted that HookLogic strengthens its platform by "increasing the relevance and stickiness of our broader solution with our core retail client base."

Criteo sees more opportunity to capture a wider swath of retail demand dollars. Although shopper and promotional marketers typically had a lens into in-store activity, the growth of mobile and digital consumption has led to brands' desire to grasp upstream intent.

As a result, CPG marketers seek more insight into how their products moved and what influenced the sale, whether an in-store activation, digital ad exposure or a loyalty program. HookLogic's push to attribute ad spend across retailer-owned, third-party and CPG channels is one step closer to cracking that equation for Criteo.


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