Sizmek’s technology centers on digital ad management – ad creation, ad serving, analysis, verification, attribution and data collection. Clients can plug their partners of choice into Sizmek’s platform through an open API. With StrikeAd in the mix, Sizmek is getting closer to its vision of being an end-to-end solution, Caprio said.
“When was the last time you saw a really good mobile ad? We want to help creative agencies and brand managers create rich mobile units regardless of screen size coupled with real, clear audience segmentation,” he said. “You need more than one or two pieces of the equation if you’re going to make mobile work.”
Sizmek plans to integrate its creative tools and its brand-safety platform, Peer39, into the StrikeAd platform. Although StrikeAd will remain separate from MDX – Sizmek’s campaign-management ad server – Sizmek clients will be able to leverage StrikeAd as a DSP, and data, traffic and workflow capabilities via StrikeAd will be available within Sizmek’s ad-management system.
Nguyen told investors that StrikeAd will also allow Sizmek to introduce a self-serve mobile DSP within the next year.
“Our philosophy about end-to-end is that we want to remain open,” Caprio said. “We have DSP partners, and from one perspective StrikeAd will be just another DSP that’s a part of that list. But we’ll also have a separate sales organization that will be focused on the virtues of our own platform.”
In a sense, Sizmek is positioning itself as the anti-walled garden.
“We don’t own the media,” Caprio said, touting Sizmek’s independence. “We have an open ad-management stack that enables us to plug into multiple parties. We’re not a network and we don’t have a vested interest in which media company ends up with the dollars at the end of the day.”
The majority of StrikeAd’s nearly 60 employees, spread across offices in London, New York and Singapore, will stay on board following the acquisition, as will StrikeAd CEO and founder Alex Rahaman, who will lead Sizmek’s platform sales group for the mobile DSP business. StrikeAd had raised $7 million in funding since it was founded in 2010.
According to Nguyen, Sizmek spent nearly 12 months evaluating a "plethora" of mobile and video DSPs before deciding to acquire StrikeAd.