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Deutsche Post DHL Buys IntelliAd To Ramp Up Its Adtech Business

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Some more consolidation in the adtech space: the German logistics, communications and postal giant Deutsche Post DHL has acquired IntelliAd, a German online marketing agency that specialises in optimizing search ad buys, as part of a larger strategy to make a bigger push into online advertising and marketing.

Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed; we’ve contacted both companies for more details. For now, Deutsche Post says that IntelliAd will become an independent subsidiary, and that all of its 50 employees, including founders Tobias Kiessling, Wolfhart Fröhlich and Mischa Rürup, will stay on post-acquisition.

While it may sound slightly put of left-field for a postal giant to be making online marketing acquisitions, this is actually right in Deutsche Post’s wheelhouse: In August 2010, it acquired ad targeting platform nugg.ad. In 2011 it bought Adcloud, an online performance marketing specialist.

Deutsche Post DHL is Germany’s largest mail company, as well as the world’s largest courier and logistics company. The move to alternative revenue streams in digital looks like it has been made to provide a fuller service for companies to manage digital distribution of their services in addition to physical distribution (and possibly to lay the groundwork for a time when digital will be a more important point for distribution than physical for some of them… something we can already see happening in basic mail services).

“Deutsche Post [already] provides a service for media agencies, marketers and advertisers in online advertising, to help them place ads effectively and efficiently,” said Jürgen Gerdes, a board member of German Post DHL, in a statement (patchy translation here). “With IntelliAd we’re building this position, especially in search, the fastest-growing and largest online advertising channel, and becoming an even more powerful partner for our customers.”

IntelliAd was founded in 2007 and its specialty is in creating algorithms that help companies game the process of bidding in search advertising auctions, for optimal placements and pricing.

Clients have included companies like Air Berlin and the mobile carrier O2, as well as performance marketing agencies. Given that Google is by far the biggest search network in Germany and elsewhere, it’s optimized to work there, but says that it works across all search engines.