Federated Media Publishing acquired advertising analytics and tools firm Lijit Networks, the companies announced today. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lijit becomes an independently run but wholly owned subsidiary of FM, and members of its management team now assume larger roles within the parent company. The combined entity will reach nearly 300 million global unique visitors according to Quantcast.
In addition to their current responsibilities, Lijit founder and CEO Todd Vernon (pictured) will take on the role of executive vice president of Technology at Federated Media; Lijit chief technology officer Manny Puentes will become senior vice president of Technology at FM; and Lijit chief operating officer Walter Knapp will serve as senior vice president of Platform Revenue at FM. Seth Levine, managing director of Lijit’s lead investor Foundry Group, will join FM’s board of directors.
Lijit’s headquarters will remain in Boulder, Colorado, and the company intends to hire at least 30 additional employees, primarily in engineering, operations, and publisher development.
“While Lijit serves all stripes of publishers, it shines with smaller sites whose size often means they get ignored or minimized by other network players,” FM founder/executive chairman John Battelle wrote on his blog. “Lijit not only provides top-tier advertising services … but it was born as a service to publishers – with great analytics and search (I use it here on Searchblog). In the past year, Lijit has built out an impressive set of offerings in the technology-driven display market – a space rife with acronyms like SSP (supply side platforms), DSP (demand side platforms), and RTB (real time bidding). This ecosystem is increasingly complex, and Lijit is committed to helping independent publishers thrive within it.”
Vernon initially had mixed feelings when FM approached Lijit in May, but their discussions made it “clear that the combination of both companies was going to create the first major media company designed from the ground up to help the millions of publishers ignored by all the other companies. This company was designed to harness the amazing power of focused conversations in the engaged part of the web – what FM refers to as the Independent Web,” he wrote on the company’s blog.
According to Vernon, September was the first month that Lijit paid out more than $1 million in revenue to publishers in the company’s network, and that this number has grown by over 50 percent month-over-month for the last year or so.
Lijit Networks Inc. was incorporated in June 2006 and provides advertising services, audience analytics, and reader engagement tools to over 70,000 online publishers, commercial websites and content networks, connecting publishers with targeted and relevant premium online advertising campaigns.