Telenor Group to acquire Tapad to expand advertising technology services

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Telenor Group, the mobile operator, has acquired 95% of cross-device marketing tech solutions provider, Tapad, for $360m. The deal helps Telenor establish itself within the growing market for advertising technology. Founded in 2010 by Are Traasdahl and Dag Liodden, the two Norwegian entrepreneurs retain a 5% stake.

Tapad’s Device Graph tool allows marketers to understand, monetise and measure their audiences

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Source: tapad.com

Sigve Brekke, Chief Executive Officer, Telenor Group, says:

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“With the acquisition of Tapad, Telenor Group is taking a position within the rapidly growing market for advertising technology, and securing important competence within digital marketing and analytics. I believe significant value can be created from applying marketing technology to improve the digital capabilities of our core telecom business. This will improve our understanding of customer behaviour, and supports building a platform for other business areas.”

In addition to establishing over 50 data technology licensing partnerships, Tapad’s clients include over 160 of the top US brands. The company is expected to report $57m in revenues in 2015, a growth of 70% the year over. This year, revenues are estimated to increase to $90m. Its current EBITDA loss of $12m is expected to break even by 2017.

Tapad has 160 employees across offices in 13 European and US cities.

With total global ad spend reaching $160bn in 2015, Telenor wants to be part of a rapidly developing market. Emerging ad markets are still underdeveloped and Telenor plans to tap into the opportunity with the help of Tapad. The company says it aims to deliver relevant, personalised and engaging digital services and improve the efficiency of digitising the core business, including business areas such as IoT, Online Classified and Financial Services.

Tapad’s patent-pending Device Graph analytics solution further helps Telenor strengthen its ad tech products.

Are Traasdahl, CEO and founder, Tapad, adds:

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“We are thrilled to join the Telenor family. With more than 200 million mobile subscribers in 13 markets, Telenor is one of the largest and most successful telecom companies globally. I am excited by what this acquisition means for our employees, our partners and our continued growth. This will accelerate our vision to become the worlds` leading provider of unified digital marketing solutions.”