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Rubicon Project and Telaria merging to capture growth in Connected TV



Rubicon Project and Telaria today announced an agreement to combine in a stock-for-stock merger. Rubicon Project and Telaria are listed in the New York Stock Exchange: NYSE:RUBI and NYSE:TLRA.

Upon closing, Telaria stockholders are expected to own approximately 47.1% and Rubicon Project stockholders are expected to own approximately 52.9% of the fully diluted shares of the combined company.

According to Rubicon Project, the merge of the 2 companies will create the world’s largest independent sell-side advertising platform, poised to capture the growth in Connected TV (CTV).

Telaria is a leader in Connected TV, and Rubicon Project is an expert in programmatic operations. Rubicon Project is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, while Telaria is headquartered in New York. Combined, the new company will have over 600 employees and contractors in 19 cities in 11 countries.

“Our businesses are highly complementary, and when combined, are a powerful, strategic alternative to the walled gardens, which have been frustrating both buyers and sellers due to their lack of transparency, innovation bottlenecks, and conflicted business models,” stated Telaria CEO, Mark Zagorski. “The two companies will provide more technology resources, a broader geographic footprint and deeper financial assets to attack the growing opportunity created by the shift from linear viewing to CTV to the benefit of our customers and in support of a thriving open internet. For our stockholders, we believe this merger allows us to accelerate our growth, while providing additional resources to increase investment and continue to scale our industry-leading CTV technology. For our employees, this is an opportunity for development and to fully realize the potential of what we have built these past few years in a scaled, omnichannel platform.”

Upon closing, Michael Barrett (Rubicon Project) will be named Chief Executive Officer of the combined company, Mark Zagorski (Telaria) will be named President & Chief Operating Officer and David Day will be the Chief Financial Officer. Telaria board member Paul Caine will be Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the combined company. The full board will consist of nine members; four existing directors from each company and Michael Barrett, CEO.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Here the speech of Michael Barrett, during today’s webcast:

Mark and I are pleased to announce that we have entered into a definitive agreement to combine Rubicon Project and Telaria in a stock-for-stock merger. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.


The combination of Rubicon Project and Telaria creates the world’s largest, independent sell-side advertising platform. It will provide programmatic buyers and sellers with a single place for transacting CTV, web, traditional video, audio and mobile advertising inventory unmatched by any other independent exchange.

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On top of strengthening the depth in formats we serve, there are numerous key strengths that this combination creates to create significant separation from our programmatic competitors. This is driven by the massive scale of volume we serve, literally hundreds of billions of daily ad requests, to our speed of execution, to our efficiency, to our low cost unit economics, to our data science and our ID initiatives, just to name a few.

This transformative combination builds on our commitment to trust and transparency and accelerates our strategy to provide buyers and sellers with the most efficient paths to every format and channel including CTV. We could not be more excited about the future as we bring together two industry leaders with strong businesses, complementary technical assets and incredible cultures to create a market leader in the industry that will generate significant opportunities for our employees, customers, partners and stockholders.

From the Rubicon Project perspective, despite having a solid video business and a small but rapidly growing CTV business, we were looking at a meaningful investment over an uncertain period of time to position us to effectively and aggressively compete for share in the CTV market with Telaria, SpotX and Freewheel. It is not news to anyone that CTV is an exciting growth opportunity in the digital programmatic market and we’re happy to take on the opportunity in combination with an industry leader with greater scale together than we could separately. We believe it’s just a matter of time before video is more than half of the combined company’s revenues and CTV will be the strongest long term driver.

For the past 2 years, I’ve talked about our 3 key growth drivers – SPO, video and Demand Manager. This transaction reshuffles which will be our largest growth driver but doesn’t change our view that each will drive meaningful future revenue growth for the business.

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In fact, we think adding to the video offerings, specifically CTV, is extremely complementary to SPO and Demand Manager.

In SPO, we’ve seen DSPs, agencies and buyers treat CTV differently and retain most key CTV players, outside of the omni-channel sell side platforms, which we believe positions us even stronger in this process over the next 12-18 months.

In the long run, we also see a path to CTV and broader video being sold via header bidding, more specifically in Prebid, and believe the strength that we bring in serving the developing market today as it becomes more mainstream in header bidding allows us to cover the entire market opportunity.


We are very pleased to have come through the challenges presented when I joined nearly 3 years ago now and begin playing offense and bolstering the long term strategic value proposition of Rubicon Project. We were able to organically take a challenged business and restore it to a healthy, growing business with solid financial performance, which provided the opportunity for a transaction like the one we announced today.

M&A has played an important part of our turnaround and differentiation since I joined Rubicon Project – buying nToggle in mid 2017, followed by RTK last quarter and now a game-changing merger with Telaria, which transforms our long term strategic prospects. The enhancement of our revenue growth prospects, combined with the financial discipline we’ve demonstrated historically, makes me very excited about our company’s future.

Before handing over to Mark, I want to highlight that outside of the obvious leadership position Telaria has in CTV, I’m very excited about the combined prospects in web video and adding a great team of people with great strategic relationships.

With that, I will hand things over to Mark, who will assume the role of President and Chief Operating Officer upon closing of the transaction, to share some of his thoughts about today’s deal.

Here the speech of Mark Zagorski, during today’s webcast:

This transaction is a great deal for both of our shareholders and is an exciting strategic opportunity for both companies. Together, we will have more technology resources, a broader geographic footprint and deeper financial assets to go after the opportunities that exist in digital advertising.

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This merger allows us to accelerate our growth, while providing additional resources to increase investment and continue to scale our industry-leading CTV technology.

We are two category leaders combining strengths to form the largest independent sell side advertising platform. Telaria is a proven leader in CTV.

We have led innovation in the space which has resulted in us partnering with the most premium CTV publishers around the globe. Rubicon Project brings their technical expertise in high speed, high-volume transactions across the entire digital advertising ecosystem. The powerful suite of technology assets that will result from the combined entity will enable us to further broaden and deepen our relationships with publishers, create additional differentiation from our industry peers and help both companies grow share as an independent, transparent and unconflicted alternative to the walled gardens.


As more consumers cut the cord, more CTV content becomes ad-supported and more CTV publishers embrace programmatic technology, our prospects for continued growth are strong.

I’m very excited to add the capabilities that Rubicon Project brings to our combination. Our go to market approach now includes all formats to serve publisher and buyer needs across all platforms. A great example of where we have opportunities to leverage a broader set of solutions is in the APAC region where Telaria has traditionally had a strong CTV and video position. We will now have the ability to offer a complete set of solutions to complement our relationships in that market and others around the globe.

Before I hand the call over to David Day, I would also like to add that we are really excited about bringing the complementary cultures together into one unified force. Both companies have been pioneers in their respective spaces and embody the true spirit of the open internet. Bringing them together will provide a formidable alternative to the market and provide benefits to buyers, sellers and consumers of digital advertising, while delivering bottom line results and helping to enhance shareholder value.

PPC Land


5 tips for building customer trust during the supply chain crisis



5 tips for building customer trust during the supply chain crisis

The supply chain crisis continues, partly caused by COVID-19, partly exacerbated by war in Europe, and beyond the capacity of marketers to solve. The Brooks Group is a sales management, training and consulting firm. “We work with sales organizations, primarily B2B, to help them equip their teams with effective processes and the right sales skills,” said VP of sales performance research Michelle Richardson.

We spoke to Richardson and her colleague Russ Sharer, director of strategic sales excellence, about some lessons they’re teaching sales organizations, not least in their recently published book “Agile & Resilient: Sales Leadership for the New Normal.” The advice is good for marketing organizations too.

Positive strategies to build trust. Richardson and Sharer are offering advice to their clients which they agree is good advice for marketing organizations too.

  1. Be transparent. “Make sure that when you are dealing with customers you are updated them along the way in terms of what’s happening,” said Richardson.”If you have product delays, let them know there are product delays – be clear in communicating that.”
  2. Be proactive. “Reach out when you have new information,” said Sharer. Some dealers find it difficult to have repeated conversations about problems with manufacturing or delivery. Sharer’s question for them: “If a manufacturer knew a delivery was delayed, when would you want to know?” The answer, of course, is immediately. “Well why wouldn’t you do the same for your customer? While it may be painful at that moment, you are building a reservoir of trust that will ultimately benefit you.”
  3. Build trust. “In order for someone to do business with you, they have to trust both the individual they’re dealing with and the organization too,” said Sharer.
  4. Have empathy. Not just with your customer, but with your employees. Dealing with frustrated customers day after day wears down employees on the front line. Sharer tells the story of a CEO who was asked to spend an hour or two taking customer calls to better understand the situation. His reponse? “’I’m not going down there. Do you know the kind of grief those people are taking?’That right there says a leadership vacuum as well as an issue.”
  5. Accept there’s a new normal. “I worked with a guy one time who joked, never confuse selling and delivery,” said Sharer. “Always get the order, then figure out how to fill it. That’s old school to me. If you make a commitment and miss it, people are just going to go somewhere else.
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Read next: How changes in logistics and the supply chain will impact customer experience

The state of the crisis. “Some of our clients are in the professional services business, but most of our customers have real physical products that they deliver – industrial manufacturing and distributing, medical devices, agro-chemicals,” said Sharer. “They’re seeing the supply chain issue up close.”

COVID is still driving many of the problems with ports in Shanghai and other parts of China still dysfunctional. “I wouldn’t put COVID in the past,” Sharer said. The situation in Ukraine is not yet causing supply shortages (with the exception of food — it’s a major grain exporter) but it is having an impact through fuel shortages causing additional price increases in transportation.

“The other piece,” said Richardson, “is that it adds uncertainty, unrest and upheaval, and that certainly can impact business’s outlook – how they view and mitigate risk.”

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Why we care. Delivering on commitments, or being transparent about it if you can’t, is an essential element of providing a great customer experience. Marketing, sales and customer success teams may be downstream from manufacturing, but supply chain issues can leave them in the lurch, like Wile E. Coyote, running on thin air.

The experience we’ve had as consumers over the last two or more years, increasingly buying online, has raised our expectations across the board — including when making considered, often expensive business purchases. B2B needs to learn how to live with supply chain challenges, many of which are not easily tractable. “I’d like to say this is going to be the last crisis,” said Sharer, “but I’d be willing to bet you it’s not.” We didn’t take the bet.

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2022 MarTech replacement survey

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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