Even if you weren’t a customer, Automate Ads may sound familiar because it was previously known as Kuhcoon, a social advertising startup co-founded by Andrew Torba, who has since been in the news for getting banned from the YC alumni network and for his social network Gab.ai, which has ties to the far-right.
So it’s worth stating this upfront: Torba is gone from Automate Ads. In fact, AdHawk co-founder and CEO Todd Saunders said that the company had basically shut down prior to the acquisition. And while Saunders saw value in the technology, no one from Automate Ads will be joining AdHawk. (CTO Charles Szymanski will be consulting during the transition.)
Saunders said that this could be just the beginning of more consolidation, both at AdHawk and across the industry, as companies try to create broader digital advertising platforms.
In the case of Automate Ads and AdHawk (which was incubated at Techstars Boulder), both companies offer products for running Facebook and Google ad campaigns. But where AdHawk has focused on providing data to optimize existing campaigns, Automate’s tools help advertisers create those campaigns in the first place.
“For us, this moves AdHawk from a tool to a platform and allows us to service many more customers,” Saunders said. “We really believe that campaign creation should be done in a data-driven way, and with our optimization tool, we plan on infusing that into the … process.”
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The plan is to integrate AdHawk and Automate Ads into a single dashboard by the first quarter of 2018.