Rocket Fuel, a real-time bidding ad tech company, announced plans to acquire [x+1], a data management platform, last month. The news came just as Rocket Fuel announced its second quarter earnings.
Today the deal between the two companies, which was reported to be for roughly $US230 million in cash and stock, has officially closed. [x+1] CEO John Nardone says he expects his company’s data management and demand side platform capabilities to be fully integrated with Rocket Fuel’s within a year.
“I think what’s attractive here is that it’s a culture match, it’s a vision match, and at [x+1], they have already achieved so much,” Rocket Fuel CEO George John tells Business Insider. “We are definitely going to be putting a lot of energy into making sure that it is successful. It just really feels, for both of us, like the right next step to move ahead faster and offer a better array of services and products for our customers.”
Rocket Fuel has had a bit of a rocky year since going public last September. It priced its IPO at $US29 a share and closed out the first day of trading at $US56.10. A year later, the stock is trading in the $US16 range, but Nardone believes with the two companies coming together Wall Street will change its perception of the company.
“If we are successful, and we believe we will be, of building a software as services base and maintaining the kind of growth rates that Rocket Fuel has had, then Wall Street is going to like this company a whole lot,” Nardone says.
Rocket Fuel, which brands itself as an “Artificial Intelligence” company, focuses on building technology that learns, in real time, which ads are working for clients and which ads aren’t working.
With the addition of [x+1]’s data management tools, Rocket Fuel can not only expand its “tech stack,” a fancy way of describing all the different capabilities a company can offer advertisers or publishers, but can also manage and target data for clients.
[x+1] brings a big pool of high profile clients, including Chase and Capital One, to the table.
“We have a fantastic opportunity here to take the infrastructure, the intelligence, and the data management that Rocket Fuel has built, and attach it to the front end that we put in front of customers so we can deliver a true software as a service platform,” [x+1] CEO John Nardone says.
Over the next year, Nardone explains the company will look for “quick wins” in terms of integration, finding places where the two technologies and platforms overlap. For example, he says his company’s data management platform, or DMP, has already been hooked into Rocket Fuel’s demand side platform.
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