Since last year, Alphabird has announced a string of acquisitions, mainly focused on bringing new technologies to its audience development platform. Today, it’s announcing another acquisition — but this time around, the purchase will help Alphabird expand into a new region. The startup has acquired Australian digital media and advertising firms Ventures in Digital Media (ViDM), which will expand its services into the Asia Pacific market for the first time.
Alphabird’s business is primarily focused on developing audiences for content providers to show off and sell their video inventory. It’s all about helping them to grow the number of people that will watch their content, even guaranteeing views for users. By partnering with large distribution networks, Alphabird has essentially come up with a way to productize viral video. It has built a platform under which clients can pay to promote their videos, but only pay when a video is viewed (cost per view) or watched to completion (cost per completed view).
Until now, however, most of its business has come from content producers, brands, and agencies in the U.S. With the purchase of ViDM, Alphabird gains a foothold in Australia and will be better positioned to target the broader Asia-Pac market.
According to Alphabird CEO Chase Norlin, ViDM was founded by a bunch of former Yahoo and Google employees who were veterans of the digital media world. The plan is to accelerate their activities in Asia, by giving them access to Alphabird’s technology, while also integrating some of what ViDM has built into Alphabird’s platform.
ViDM will take the Alphabird Australia brand. The new entity will be led by ViDM co-founder and former CEO Willie Pang, who will take the title of managing director and oversee the team there. Meanwhile, former ViDM Chief Strategy Officer Josh Edis will become SVP of Global Business Development out of Alphabird’s San Francisco office. Also joining him will be former ViDM CTO Neil Wilkinson, who will take the new title of SVP, Product and Engineering at Alphabird. ViDM subsidiaries Amplify and Emerge Digital will continue operating under the Alphabird Australia brand.
The ViDM acquisition is the fourth purchase that Alphabird has made over the past year or so. Last November it bought social video platform Media Social, and in May purchased PlaceVine’s Brand Integration Platform. Most recently, it acquired technology and personnel from San Francisco-based video platform Castfire. Alphabird also introduced its own production studio for branded entertainment and original content recently.
Alphabird now has a team of 88 employees, with five main locations around the world: San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and now Sydney, Australia. Norlin says the company was bootstrapped until earlier this year. He wouldn’t comment on how much money the company has raised, but according to an SEC filing, Alphabird raised a total of $1.9 million in April.
Alphabird is a vertically integrated digital marketing company with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London and Sydney. Alphabird’s suite of publisher solutions enables web and mobile publishers to manage and optimize their audience development, content, data and monetization initiatives. The AlphaBird investor group is led by Joe Abrams. Abrams co-founded Intermix in 1998, the predecessor company to MySpace, which was sold to News Corp. in 2005 for $580 million. In 1983, Abrams co-founded The Software Toolworks, Inc.,...