In what IgnitionOne claims to be more than just an acqui-hire, the search and display tech company has snapped up mobile demand-side and data-management platform Human Demand.
The deal, which officially went down Wednesday, was completed for somewhere between high seven to low eight figures, according to an industry source close to the matter.
IgnitionOne will be retiring the Human Demand brand in the near term and working to integrate Human Demand’s technology into its overall solution. All Human Demand's several dozen employees will be staying on, including CEO and co-founder Howie Schwartz.
Will Margiloff, CEO of IgnitionOne, told AdExchanger that the acquisition is about both talent and tech. Since spinning off from Japan-based agency holding company Dentsu a little more than a year ago, IgnitionOne has been focusing on building out its integrated stack, what it refers to as its digital marketing suite.
One noteworthy step in this direction came with IgnitionOne’s acquisition of DMP and email service provider Knotice back in March. Margiloff anticipates the Knotice integration to be fully completed by sometime in September.
Although some would argue that IgnitionOne is not a true marketing cloud in the vein of an Oracle or a Salesforce, it’s certainly aiming to position itself in that ecosystem. What sets IgnitionOne apart at the moment is its ability to handle paid media, which the big cloud-based marketing tech companies don’t have at the moment, other than Adobe.
While Margiloff acquiesced that he considers Adobe to be his company’s main competitor, he noted that IgnitionOne’s goal is to be the “only purely integrated stack” out there. “We don’t allow you to paint pretty pictures in Photoshop,” he said.
That’s a big part of the motivation behind the Human Demand grab. Human Demand is a mobile audience-targeting solution — exactly what IgnitionOne was missing, Margiloff said. IgnitionOne’s value prop revolves around buying and optimizing search, social and display augmented and informed by CRM and conversion data through Knotice. But that was mostly happening on desktop, not on mobile.
Human Demand’s mobile display and cross-device tracking capabilities “fill a void” in IgnitionOne’s core technology offerings, Margiloff said.
“We want to offer a solution where you can see how ads are working across any device,” Margiloff said. “We’ve dabbled in mobile through some of our display offerings, but we felt like there should be more to it than just delivering small banner ads through an exchange or programmatic type environment.”
Although IgnitionOne was the one doing the acquiring in this case, Margiloff, when asked, didn’t completely rule out the possibility that IgnitionOne itself could get acquired down the line.
“We’re focused on doing what’s best for clients, and I don’t know if that means we might go public or get acquired in the future,” he said. “But right now we’re content to continue finding these holes in our stack and filling them in with great companies like Human Demand.”