It's been over a year since publisher, ad server and ad exchange OpenX bought publisher ad tech services provider LiftDNA (AdExchanger story). And as often happens in these cases, the founder of the acquired company is exiting.
Vadim Telyatnikov, who founded LiftDNA in 2009, told associates in an email memo obtained by AdExchanger that he is not heading to another startup or established media company; he's decided to create a hedge fund called Admire Capital and a separate incubator and seed funder dubbed Cvetlo.
While Telyatnikov couldn't be reached for additional comment, OpenX told us the integration of LiftDNA "is now coming to its close" under the management of Qasim Saifee, OpenX's SVP for its Monetization Platform, who has been overseeing the process since LiftDNA's acquisition.
Telyatnikov also cited Saifee's role at the helm of LiftDNA as allowing him to move on.
At the time of the acquisition, LiftDNA was already working within OpenX's ad server. While OpenX has always billed itself as a publisher-facing display platform, it wasn't a yield manager or a supply-side platform. Considering the existing arrangement between OpenX and LiftDNA – and with the challenges of becoming a profitable, independent yield manager only increasing despite boasts of revenue growth – the startup naturally joined its larger partner.
As OpenX acknowledged in its statement following the acquisition and integration, the entrepreneur/founder of the smaller company often departs, which makes sense from an entrepreneurial perspective. But as M&As in the ad tech space appear to slow down from last year's frenzy, and as Telyatnikov becomes an advisor and possible broker of deals, he will frequently be questioning whether to buy or partner.