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MediaMath Explores Strategic Options as Dealmaking in Ad Tech Picks Up


Advertising technology company MediaMath has hired bankers to explore its strategic options, including a possible sale, people familiar with the matter said, as ad tech enjoys a resurgence in deal making and investor interest.

Luma Partners LLC and Centerview Partners LLC are advising the 14-year-old business, which recently reached out to a number of prospective buyers, including private-equity firms, the people said.

The effort comes about a year after MediaMath began reviewing its options, which was reported last June by the industry news publication Digiday.

Most ad tech firms at the time were grappling with financial challenges as advertisers paused their spending during the Covid-19 pandemic.

No deal materialized then. The company is now reaching out again as the digital ad market improves and some ad-tech companies see surging valuations.

MediaMath declined to comment.

MediaMath operates a demand-side platform that helps advertisers buy targeted ads using automation.

It has raised more than $500 million, including $225 million from investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners in 2018, and this year hired a slate of new executives including a chief financial officer and a chief technology officer. The company is one of the few remaining large independent ad-tech companies, competing with the likes of

Alphabet Inc.’s

Google,

Amazon.

com Inc. and independent ad-tech giant Trade Desk Inc.

The company’s latest process adds to a long list of deals and activity in the category.

This year, Vista Equity Partners took a majority stake in TripleLift Inc.,

Walmart Inc.

acquired Thunder Industries technology and Magnite, itself created following a 2019 merger, acquired SpotX.

A number of digital-ad and marketing-technology companies have also gone public in recent months, including

Pubmatic Inc.,

Viant Technology Inc.,

AppLovin Corp.

and

DoubleVerify Holdings Inc.

Deal making in ad tech remains active as the ad industry grapples with changes, including new rules and practices around protecting consumer privacy in digital advertising, as well as ad targeting changes from Google that are expected to rattle the industry.

The upheaval has some firms seeking strength through sales or mergers, while other companies are building and rethinking their own tools for ad targeting.

Trade Desk’s new Unified ID data product, for example, has support from a number of publishers and other companies. The company’s stock price has surged in the last two years as the company eats into a corner of the market that is dominated by Google.

Write to Alexandra Bruell at alexandra.bruell@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8



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