Telenor acquires Tapad for $360 million
In 2015, Norwegian telephone company Telenor announced it was acquiring Tapad, a five-year-old New York-based advertising startup for $360 million. Tapad focuses on cross-device "retargeting"; that is, it claims to track billions o dfata points across mobile devices, PCs, TV, and watches, and, going forward cars and other newly connected devices. The information is then repackaged to help media buyers and advertisers more precisely target specific groups of consumers. Tapad counted 160 top US brands among its customers, along with 50 data technology licensing partnerships. Telenor is expected to use the technology primarily across its own business areas; besides its Norwegian stronghold it has a substantial presence as a mobile operator in Vietnam and Burma, among others. The company said it intended to dedicate 15% of Tapad's resources to Telenor's own business, which serves 200 million subscribers across Scandinavia and Asia, a substantial dataset to feed into a cross-device identity graph. In addition, Telenor expected that its international reach would help Tapad expand beyond the US. A year after the acquisition, Telenor was using the technology acquired with Tapad, which continued to operate as a standalone business, to drive personalisation, sales, and customer acquisition for its own products, rather than using the combination to move into the broader market.
tags: Telenor, Tapad, telcos, retargeting, advertising, cross-channel linking, Burma, Vietnam, Asia, Scandinavia
Writer: Ingrid Lunden; Allison Schiff
Publication: TechCrunch; AdExchanger