Digital ad measurement firm Integral Ad Science (IAS) is still independent, but it does have new backers.
Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has acquired a majority stake in IAS. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. IAS investors Accomplice, August Capital, and Sapphire Ventures will remain significant shareholders.
Vista also acquired martech company Marketo for $1.8 billion in June 2016 and in 2015 bought ad tech company Mediaocean.
The deal joins the growing list of adtech M&A. IAS competitor Moat was acquired by Oracle Data Cloud in 2017, which more recently added brand-safety tool Grapeshot to the mix. While Providence Equity Partners took a majority stake in DoubleVerify mid-2017.
IAS CEO Scott Knoll told Ad Exchanger the investment from Vista will allow the company to stay neutral while continuing to grow.
“With the support from Vista, we will continue to focus on enhancing our verification capabilities to protect our customers’ assets while applying our expertise and data to help our clients to influence more consumers and grow their businesses around the globe,” Knoll said in a statement.
Stephen Dolan, IAS Managing Director APAC says the acquisition is “great news” for the region.
“Our industry faces a multitude of brand safety, viewability, and ad fraud challenges in Asia and across the world,” said Dolan.
“The announcement of the acquisition by Vista is great news. APAC has been a huge source of growth and investment for the company and with Vista’s support and resources IAS will be able to continue to invest in the Asia Pacific Market and build solutions that can help protect and grow of customers brands.”
Vista said it will support IAS expand its capabilities into additional advertising channels and scale the business into new global markets.
“Our goal at IAS was to find an investment partner that shared our vision and commitment to leveraging our expertise and data to provide valuable products and solutions that our customers depend on,” said IAS Executive Chairman Don Epperson.
“With Vista’s support, we can continue to scale our business and build solutions that help our clients protect and grow their digital investments.”
The transaction is expected to fully close in Q3 2018.
“We are thrilled to partner with the IAS team to help the company accelerate investments that boost innovation and growth to meet the needs of customers,” said Brian Sheth, Co-Founder and President of Vista Equity Partners.
“Brand safety, viewability, and ad fraud are serious challenges to marketers and publishers around the globe. We live in a digital world and IAS plays a critical role in enabling brands, agencies, publishers, and platforms to navigate the advertising ecosystem.”