AOL Is Acquiring Video Ad Platform For $405M

TechCrunch-owner AOL just announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire video advertising platform in a deal that should be worth a total of $405 million — $322 million in cash and $83 million in AOL common stock.

“AOL is a leader in online video and the combination of AOL and will create the leading video platform in the industry,” said AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong in the press release announcing the deal. (That’s Armstrong at the right of the photo with CEO Amir Ashkenazi.) “The founders and team are on a mission to make advertising as easy as e-commerce and the two companies together will aggressively pursue that vision.”

This tops the $315 million that AOL paid for the Huffington Post, making it the company’s largest acquisition since Armstrong became CEO in 2009. Business Insider reported in July that AOL had made an offer of about $400 million for the company. will operate as an independent part of AOL’s video organization, which is led by senior vice president Ran Harnevo, and which itself is part of the broader ad offerings at AOL Networks (where Bob Lord was recently hired as CEO). The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

One of Armstrong’s big themes this year has been programmatic ad-buying, where ads are bought in an automated way — a couple of weeks ago he announced plans for a “programmatic upfront” event at Advertising Week. In the release, he says that is at the “forefront” of both the programmatic trend ad and the shift from traditional TV to online video. supported more than 26,000 ad campaigns that ran on 9,500 websites, AOL says.

The video ad company was founded in 2006 and has raised a total of $48.6 million in funding. Investors include Gemini Israel Funds, Redpoint Ventures, Spark Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners.