Blackstone will purchase the advertising platform VIngle in a deal giving exits to corporates Alphabet and Verizon.
Private equity firm Blackstone US-based advertising technology developer Vungle, which counts internet conglomerate Alphabet and telecoms company Verizon as backers, agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Blackstone in a reported all-cash transaction, sized at $750m. GV, the early-stage corporate venturing subsidiary of Alphabet previously known as Google Ventures, backed the company´s series A and series B rounds in 2013-14. AOL Ventures, the now-defunct corporate venturing unit of mass media group Verizon’s AOL unit, had also participated in the series B round.
Founded in 2011, Vungle helps developers place video advertisements in their apps. It has developed a suite of digital tools that help developers monetise their mobile apps via advertising campaigns based on customer data. The company claims its technology accounts for over four billion video views a month.
Vungle is part of the broader digital marketing and adtech space, which has not remained outside the radar of corporate venturers, as the GCV Analytics chart here suggests. Corporate-backed deal flow in that space registered peaks in 2014 and 2015 – with 99 and 96 deals r – but has since dropped to a level around 70 deals per year from 2016 onward. In terms of the total estimated capital in those rounds, the story is similar. 2014 saw a peak with $2.73bn and the totals dropped to remain above $1bn in the following years. It appears to be one of the few subsectors of emerging tech missing a clear boom in valuations.