Feb 23, 2017

The BFD: SingTel buys adtech company Turn

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Amobee, a Foster City, Calif.-based unit of SingTel, has agreed to acquire Turn, a Redwood City, Calif.-demand-side platform for digital advertising, for $310 million.

Why it's the BFD: Because the price-tag is a big disappointment for many of Turn's later-stage investors, who backed a Series E round in 2014 at a post-money valuation north of $700 million. Participants in that deal included Fidelity, BlackRock, ClearBridge Investments, Firsthand Technology Value Fund, Northport Investment Management, Pine River Capital Management, Focus Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures, Western Technology and Trident Capital. There also had been talk about an IPO a couple years back. The Series D post-money was around $164 million in 2011, per PitchBook.

Bottom line: "Turn went through a big transition in 2015 after a period of trying to move to a software as a service (SaaS) revenue model that only serviced brands, not agencies. That didn't work out so well and the company brought on a new CEO, Bruce Falck, the former COO of Yahoo's BrighRoll, to help it pivot back." ― Lara O'Reilly

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