Ad-tech company Criteo just acquired French startup Tedemis for $29 million (€21 million). Originally from France, Criteo went public on the NASDAQ late last year. The company made around $250 million on the day of the IPO.
As a reminder, Criteo is a leading advertising retargeting company. For example, if you search for a particular product on an ecommerce website, you will get ads about this product around the web. This is all Criteo’s work.
After multiple pivots, Tedemis is now specialized in email marketing. The company uses the same retargeting methods for emails. It’s a good fit for Criteo as it will allow the company to easily expand its offering.
Tedemis raised $2.6 million from Banexi Ventures Partners ($1.9 million) as well as $960,000 (€700,000) from Oséo, which is now part of Bpifrance. JDN first mentioned that the two companies were in acquisition talks in November.
With one foot in the U.S. and another still in France, many wondered whether Criteo would start contributing to the French ecosystem. In particular in France, one of the reasons why it’s so hard to raise Series B, C and more is because the exit market is very small. There aren’t a lot of big tech companies in France that like to acquire or acqui-hire startups. They’d rather hire and create new internal projects.
In France, many big startups have to look for an international buyer instead. For example, Rakuten acquired PriceMinister for $274 million in 2010 (€200 million). Or more recently, Dailymotion was ready to sell to Yahoo for around $200 million before the French government got involved.
But Criteo is now big enough to make acquisitions when it makes sense. As the R&D team is still based in Paris, French ad-tech acquisitions look like a good fit. It’s a positive sign for the French ecosystem. It could boost the Series B market, which could lead to more successes à la Criteo. And more successes would mean a bigger exit market — it’s a virtuous circle.