Ad-Tech Firm Criteo Just Acquired Ecommerce Startup HookLogic for $250 Million

Digital ads space continues to consolidate

In the second notable acquisition of the past couple of days, French ad-tech company Criteo has bought startup HookLogic to beef up its ecommerce capabilities for advertisers.

HookLogic works with retail and packaged-good brands like Macy's, Target and Procter & Gamble to run sponsored posts on ecommerce sites that are targeted according to what products consumers browse. For example, Nespresso has used HookLogic to buy a sponsored section of Macys.com to drive traffic to Macys.com landing pages that sell coffee-making machines. Brands pay to bid on those ads, with HookLogic splitting the revenue with ecommerce sites and publishers.

In a slide deck sent to investors, Criteo said that it is paying $250 million to buy the company. The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

According to Criteo, the ad-tech company plans to plug its ad-targeting software—which powers product recommendations and bidding predictions—into HookLogic's exchange of ecommerce sites. The idea is essentially to mash up two performance-based companies to drive sales for retail brands.

"We are thrilled to join the Criteo team, who share our passion for transparent, accountable and relevant marketing," Jonathan Opdyke, CEO of HookLogic, said in a statement. "Criteo's global scale, extensive client base, unmatched technology and team provide a tremendous opportunity to rapidly accelerate HookLogic's business and expand performance marketing solutions for our clients."

New York-based HookLogic is expected to bring in $130 million in gross revenue this year and has 190 full-time employees. Criteo works with 12,000 advertisers and 17,000 publishers to power re-targeted ads that are served to consumers after they look at a product on a brand's ecommerce site.

Criteo's news comes one day after Salesforce scooped up data-management startup Krux for $700 million in another example of how the ad-tech space is increasingly becoming more consolidated. It will be interesting to see whether the ad-tech consolidation of the last two days becomes a major theme in the fourth quarter. 

When speaking with Adweek earlier today about the ad-tech space in general, Matt Gillis, svp of publisher platforms for AOL, predicted, "I think you're going to see continued consolidation."