M&A Alert—June 29, 2017
Ninth Decimal acquires mobile audience platform MoLOQIG.
Author: Eric Risley, Eric Xu, John Ascher-Roberts
Transaction Size: Undisclosed
On June 29, 2017, Ninth Decimal announced its acquisition of mobile audience platform startup MoLOGIQ for an undisclosed amount.
MoLOGIQ develops self-service audience solutions, data visualization software, a data management platform, and a data-collecting SDK that help advertisers better target, deliver, and design ads to improve conversion. MoLOGIQ’s marketing platform provides insight on the moods, movements, habits, and interests of consumers by combining public demographic data, land parcel data, voter registration data and data collected using their proprietary SDK, embedded within partner apps installed on over 50 million mobile devices. This broad installed base has allowed MoLOGIQ to determine the household addresses of 50 million devices, linking online and offline behavior. MoLOGIQ’s platform allows advertisers to track how consumer shopping behavior responds to advertising campaigns and offers 400 audience segments that advertisers can use to target ads. Competitors include UberMedia, PlaceIQ, xAd, ThinkNear, Near, Beintoo, Snap’s Snap to Store, Unacast, and Factual.
Arvi Kang, CEO, founded the Cupertino-based company in 2013. MoLOGIQ has not disclosed any fundraising information. They currently employ 6 people, according to LinkedIn.
Founded in 2003, San Francisco-based Ninth Decimal is a location-driven marketing platform that collects user location data to help advertisers understand consumers’ physical behavior. The company offers Location Graph, which enables sophisticated audience targeting, campaign execution, measurement of consumer behavior, and campaign insights. The company also offers the Location Conversion Index, which quantifies the conversion rate of an ad by identifying the audience exposed to the ad, monitoring their real-world behavior, and measuring incremental lift in store visits attributable to the campaign. Alongside its acquisition, Ninth Decimal announced the newly created Ninth Decimal Labs to research location-driven marketing solutions.
Ninth Decimal reached profitability in Q4 2016 and has raised $66.4 million in equity funding from Comcast Ventures (David Horowitz), Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Frontier Venture Capital (Jim Schraith), Norwest Venture Partners (Josh Goldman), Trident Capital (Eric Jeck), and others.
Ninth Decimal is acquiring MoLOGIQ for an undisclosed amount.
Comparable transactions include Snap’s acquisition of Placed in June 2017 for up to $200mm (9.3x–14.9x invested capital, covered here), The Mobile Majority’s acquisition of Gimbal in December 2016 (undisclosed, covered here), xAd’s acquisition of WeatherBug in November 2016 (undisclosed, covered here), Tyco’s acquisition of Shoppertrak in December of 2015 for $175mm (2.3x LTM revenue, covered here), Nielsen’s acquisition of eXelate in March 2015 for an estimated $200mm (6.3x invested capital), SK Planet’s acquisition of Shopkick in September 2014 for $200mm (7.5x invested capital), and Acxiom’s acquisition of Liveramp in May 2014 for $310mm (11.0x LTM revenue, covered here).
Acquiring MoLOGIQ provides Ninth Decimal with the widest reaching mobile device network of any locational intelligence company in the United States, according to Ninth Decimal. At 230 million total unique devices tracked each month post-acquisition, Ninth Decimal has one of the largest sources of precise location information and has established themselves as an industry standard for offline attribution measurement. The CEO and CTO of MoLOGIQ will serve as the Head of Business Development and CTO respectively for Ninth Decimal Labs, and other employees from MoLOGIQ will also join the Ninth Decimal team. Ninth Decimal’s clients have expressed an interest in measuring lift in consumer purchases in addition to store visits, and the onboarding of MoLOGIQ’s employees will help Ninth Decimal Labs develop ways to calculate this metric.
Architect Partners’ Observations
Many acquisitions have occurred in the location-driven marketing analytics space recently as advertising platforms compete to provide the most effective tools to determine attribute rates and maximize conversion. User data is a valuable resource in this race, and while a large quantity of data is available from ad exchanges like Bidstream, the data is often imprecise, unreliable, and unrepresentative of a broad range of locations. Ultimately, the real-world visits consumers make to businesses are unlikely to generate high-quality location data on exchanges (AdExchanger). Therefore, controlling proprietary sources of user data provides the greatest utility and business defensibility, making startups that collect unique, high quality first-party user data highly valuable to advertising platforms like Ninth Decimal.