Rubicon Project to simplify header bidding offer with $11m RTK acquisition

By Stephen Lepitak | -

October 21, 2019 | 4 min read

Rubicon Project has acquired header bidding tool and services provider in an aim to improve simplicity for its publisher partners for $11m.

The all-cash deal to acquire New York-based RTK will build on Rubicon’s Prebid, the same framework as header bidding solution Demand Manager, which launched in May.

Founded in 2014, the programmatic infrastructure and ad operations company aims to provide publishers with an integrated user interface to configure, install, and implement a complete header bidding solution.

Michael Barrett, Rubicon Project

Rubicon Project aims to simplify header bidding offer with $11m RTK acquisition / Rubicon Project

Explaining the move, Michael Barrett, president and chief executive of Rubicon Project claimed that both companies shared a “commitment” and “passion” in serving publishers.

“The company has a strong group of header bidding experts and Prebid developers that adds depth to our already great team. Together, we will accelerate our shared vision of helping publishers regain control of their monetization and make quick, informed decisions to grow their businesses,” he added.

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Speaking to The Drum following the acquisition announcement, Barrett explained why there is an urgency to simplify header bidding for publishers; "Header bidding was designed to bring more control to a closed system. While it increased revenue for publishers and inventory access for buyers, it also introduced operational complexity. Publishers need to regain control of their monetization and make quick, informed decisions to grow their businesses. Additionally, publishers need an integrated end-to-end interface capable of supporting them from the implementation to better reporting and analytics capabilities to drive better yield management."

He added that the deal would amplify Demand Manager's ability to put publisher monetization teams back in control and revealed that in the coming months the combination of both would help them make quick, informed decisions to grow their businesses.

"We are bringing together the benefits of Demand Manager with, including excellent technical support and yield management expertise. In short, this acquisition further strengthens our commitment to Prebid, and our deeply-held belief that open-source technology is the best route to a future in which ad tech is transparent, flexible and community-drive," he concluded.

Gareth Glaser, co-founder and chief executive of RTK, added: “Rubicon Project’s resources and footprint supporting our integrated product will enable us to bring new levels of service and innovation to publishers globally, and to further our shared vision of bringing a transparent and collaborative approach to the industry.”


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