AOL Acquires AlephD To Be Part Of Its Newly Unified Publisher Platform

Last year, AOL launched One, a broader platform for its various programmatic ad technologies. Today it’s doing the same thing for its publisher tools, with the announcement of One by AOL: Publishers.

The company (which owns TechCrunch and is in turn owned by Verizon) is also making a last-minute addition to the lineup with the acquisition of AlephD, a Paris-based startup that helps publishers automatically identify the best price for each ad impression.

With the big launch, AOL is taking the individual publisher technologies that it’s acquired, such as Gravity and Millennial Media, and rebranding them under the One by AOL umbrella. Tim Mahlman, AOL’s president of publisher platforms, said this reflects the fact that with last fall’s acquisition of Millennial, AOL now offers a “true end-to-end stack” for online publishers looking to manage their ad inventory.

Mahlman joined AOL through the acquisition of Vidible. He said that until now, AOL has largely taken an approach of letting individual acquisitions run independently, but he suggested that in order for the products to become “interesting at the scale AOL wanted,” it’s time to bring them together.

To be clear, publishers should still be able to buy individual pieces of the One by AOL platform, and to connect them to other products of their choosing. However, customers also have the option of buying a single suite of products to manage their advertising needs, therefore avoiding the “technology tax” of using multiple partners and as a result giving away more of their revenue.

Mahlman pointed to AOL’s partnership with A&E (announced before the new One by AOL: Publishers branding) as an example of this new strategy.

“2016 is the year of the publisher, where we are really going to make full court press,” he added.

The financial terms of the AlephD acquisition were not disclosed. The startup had raised $2 million in funding from A Plus Finance, CapDecisif and Partech Ventures, according to CrunchBase.