JEGI co-President Tolman Geffs told AdExchanger that ad tech, a subsector within the marketing services and tech category, is of particular interest. “Programmatic has gone over the divide of being viewed as something risky and remnant-oriented to being viewed as the smart way to do business,” he said.
Notable transactions include Nielsen buying eXelate for a reported $200 million, AppNexus buying Yieldex for a reported $100 million and Vector Capital acquiring Triton Digital.
Aside from programmatic, Geffs said that data visualization and marketing automation are also of interest to buyers and sellers.
“Data visualization is a theme across all sectors,” he said. “Marketing automation continues to be a huge push. That’s going to continue to be very active in M&A. … The next big wave of innovation, commercialization and of M&A is going to be around inventing various types of ‘eyes’ so you can see what matters to you in the ocean of data.”
Within the marketing services and tech category, ad agencies saw the most deals, with 20 acquisitions totaling $361 million. Ad networks saw the second-highest volume, with six exits totaling $162 million.
Looking at the entire tech vertical – which includes media, information, marketing, software and tech-enabled services – JEGI counted 545 transactions totaling $26.6 billion. At this time last year, JEGI noted about the same number of transactions totaling $27.4 billion.
Investment bank Petsky Prunier also reported a virtually unchanged number of transactions between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015, though Petsky Prunier counted a total of 768 transactions this quarter. Petsky Prunier’s findings put the total value of transactions a little under JEGI’s, at $23.6 billion.