Facebook pays USD 500 mln for company founded by Romanians

Newsroom 03/07/2014 | 08:13

Facebook has just bought video ad tech startup LiveRail, which connects marketers to publishers on web and mobile to target 7 billion video ads to visitors per month. A source told TechCrunch that Facebook paid between USD400 million and USD500 million for LiveRail, but Facebook refused to comment on the terms.

LiveRail was founded in 2007 by Sergiu Biris, Andrei Dunca and Mark Trefgarne and registered USD 100 million in revenue in 2013.

LiveRail’s supply side platform has a large base of customers including Major League Baseball, ABC Family, A&E Networks, Gannett, and Dailymotion. LiveRail provides publishers with video ad targeting tech so they can make money routing messages to customers they’ll be relevant to, and helps marketers connect with sites and apps with open video ad inventory.

It has offices in Cluj, London, New York and San Francisco and last year is came in second in the ranking of US video-ad suppliers.

LiveRail’s shareholding structure is confidential, but it is known that Pond Ventures invested USD 12 million over the last years.

“You an deduce they own a good chunk of LiveRail. The rest of shares are split between founders and stock options packages. The LiveRail policy is that every full-time employee receive a stock option package upon employment, so basically everybody who works here owns a little piece of the company, so an exit or a successful IPO will reward every employee”, Andrei Dunca said recently for wall-street.ro.

Facebook did say it will invest in keeping LiveRail running and is evaluating how to intermingle their data, but it plans to use its data to aid LiveRail with its targeting and vice-versa. The acquisition of the 170-person company could help Facebook own a bigger chunk of video advertising, the fasting growing Internet ad medium.

Sergiu Biris and Andrei Dunca are also the people behind trilulilu.ro, the popular Romanian video platform.

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