Retargetting Startup Cognitive Match Acquired By Magnetic

We’ve been tracking Cognitive Match (CM) since it was founded in 2009. The display ad and onsite predictive targeting platform created in London by founder and CEO Alex Kelleher did well in London’s advertising-heavy media sector until realising they needed to scale up in the U.S. So they split operations between London and New York. Today the journey comes full circle as the company is acquired by ad technology platform Magnetic for an undisclosed sum. Cognitive raised a total of $10.2 million throughout its life cycle. The investors were Dawn Capital, Meridian Venture Partners and Seraphin Partners.

Magnetic will now integrate CM’s platform and keep most of the staff. Kelleher is staying on for a while as a consultant but is understood to be looking at new startup ideas. Client marketers now get the ability to apply Magnetic’s search data to turn pretty generic advertising into relevant messages by changing the creative elements of the ad in real time. They do this by tacking what you searched for on a retailer or vertical search site (not Google, obviously) and then retargeting ads on that basis.

“The addition of Cognitive Match means marketers can now build an ad in real time by assembling thousands of individual elements based on product feeds, keywords, audience intent, or just the weather or location,” says James Green, CEO of Magnetic. He said there were “very few companies like Cognitive Match that do standalone retargeting service in the same way.”

This acquisition comes on the heels of Magnetic’s recent international expansion to London and Toronto earlier this year. The company is based out of New York City with many US locations.

Magnetic has been using CM’s platform for a over a year, so the acquisition might be considered quite a natural progression.