Rubicon and Telaria agree on merger to capitalize on growing connected TV space

Rubicon Project CEO Michael Barrett will lead the combined company

Rubicon Project and Telaria have agreed to an all-stock merger Thursday (19 December) to better position the combined company for the projected growth in connected TV.

Rubicon chief executive officer Michael Barrett will lead the combined company, which is expected to close in the first half of 2020. Current Telaria chief executive Mark Zagorski will be named president and chief operating officer.

Rubicon Project stockholders will own around 52.9% of the combined company, and Telaria stockholders, the remaining 47.1%.

The deal combines Rubicon’s scale with Telaria’s capabilities in connected TV (CTV) to create the largest independent sell-side platform (SSP) in adtech.

“The combination of Rubicon Project and Telaria will establish the world’s largest, independent sell-side advertising platform with scale, capabilities and solutions unmatched by the competition,” said Barrett. “This transformative combination builds on our commitment to trust and transparency and accelerates our strategy to provide buyers and sellers with a single path to every format and channel including CTV.”

Telaria is generally considered one of the leading SSPs for CTV inventory, along with FreeWheel and SpotX. In Telaria's third-quarter earnings report, CTV revenue totaled for $7.3m, 44% of its total revenue.

Telaria boss Zagorski said the businesses are highly complementary and are a "powerful, strategic alternative to the walled gardens".

“The two companies will provide more technology resources, a broader geographic footprint and deeper financial assets to attack the growing opportunity created by the shift from linear viewing to CTV to the benefit of our customers and in support of a thriving open internet.

According to eMarketer, CTV spend is expected to reach almost $7bn in the US by the end of the year and jump to more than $14bn by the end of 2023.

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