Ad.ly is an advertising platform that pairs advertisers with celebrities. For $1,000 to $200,000, an advertiser can get one of a thousand celebrities to publish a sponsored message, usually on Twitter. The company has raised $5.5 million, has sixteen employees, and has sold 26,000 paid endorsements in the last year and a half.
But for the most part, Ad.ly has been quietly operating out of their Beverly Hills headquarters without a ton of notice in the tech press circles. But suddenly there’s a lot of interest in them. And multiple sources have told us that a handful of companies are looking to buy Ad.ly.
The value of Ad.ly isn’t really in the paid endorsement revenue. What buyers are looking at are the company’s deep ties with a ton of celebrities. And the fact that a lot of celebrities looking to get involved on Twitter start by calling the company and asking for advice.
Those relationships are hugely valuable. To companies like Twitter, who owe much of their success to celebrities embracing the product. And to companies like Google, who are looking for celebrities to jump start growth at Google+.
Although neither are confirmed potential buyers, our guess is they and others are among those taking a look. And don’t be surprised if one of them, or someone else, acquires the company sometime soon.
Ad.ly runs celebrity endorsements in social media. We help brands connect with consumers via the most influential celebrities, athletes and artists on the most popular platforms. Ad.ly is pioneering the celebrity endorsement market in digital media, tapping the intersection of the $50 billion annual global spend on endorsements and the $35 billion global spend in digital advertising. We have run 24,000 endorsements for 150 top brands, including Sony, NBC, Old Navy, Microsoft, Hyatt, American Airlines and more. Based in Beverly Hills,...