- Cardlytics, an advertising platform focused on banks, plans to acquire consumer data startup Bridg for $350 million in cash and future cash-and-stock payments that could total $100-$300 million over two years. Cardlytics plans to integrate its ad platform that reaches 163 million active users with Bridg's consumer data and digital ad network, per an announcement.
- The integration of the platforms will let marketers reach customers based on a comprehensive look at their purchase behavior with retailers. Cardlytics plans to work with its clientele of financial services companies to include Bridg's platform in their offerings to customers.
- Cardlytics' planned acquisition of Bridg is another sign that the ad-tech industry is ramping up M&A activity. The company last month bought Dosh, a cash-back offers platform, for $275 million — Cardlytics' first acquisition in its 13-year history, per a separate announcement.
Cardlytics aims to build out its ad platform and provide a broader range of services with its planned acquisition of Bridg, which comes on the heels of last month's purchase of Dosh. Cardlytics and Bridg are somewhat similar in providing a way for consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers to target ad campaigns based on purchase data, though Bridg's data includes all the products purchased at individual retailers, down to the level of stock-keeping units (SKUs).
"Once we integrate this SKU-level data, we will be able to deliver significant reach, along with targeting and measurement capabilities to brands across all of their marketing investments," Lynne Laube, co-founder and CEO of Cardlytics, said in the deal announcement. "Since founding Cardlytics, our vision was to have a broad view into consumer spend with a detailed understanding of a customer's individual product preferences."
Cardlytics last year saw an 11% slide in revenue to $186.9 million as the pandemic led to a broad pullback in advertising, though business started to bounce back as the economy recovered in the second half of the year, according to a quarterly statement. The company forecast revenue of $250 million to $275 million for 2021, a figure that pre-dated its planned acquisition of Bridg.
Cardlytics' acquisitions are another sign of consolidation in the ad-tech industry as the economy recovers and deal financing becomes more readily available. This year has seen a flurry of M&A activity, including deals valued at more than $1 billion. Last month, private equity firm Vista Equity Partners agreed to buy a majority interest in TripleLift, the programmatic platform focused on native advertising, for a reported $1.4 billion. A month earlier, sell-side platform Magnite bought rival SpotX for $1.17 billion in cash and stock from RTL Group. Similarly, traditional brands are growing more acquisitive of marketing firms due to shifting demands around data and technology.