Entrepreneurship

Chicago ad tech company Centro buys Silicon Valley software firm

Read more at www.chicagobusiness.com

More importantly, the acquisition rounds out Centro’s ad-buying software, called Basis, which launched three years ago. Basis already allowed customers to plan and purchase digital ads on websites, search and social media either through automated-buying platforms or directly from the sites themselves.

This deal is worth watching because Centro, which got its start 19 years ago buying online ads for clients, has been viewed as a potential IPO or acquisition candidate for some time. With a red-hot IPO market, the company could find the exit it’s been seeking.

Centro is profitable and did more than $150 million in revenue last year, said CEO Shawn Riegsecker. The company plans to hire more than 100 people this year.

The company’s ad-buying software is the fastest-growing part of the business, tripling last year, Riegsecker said. Basis has about 500 customers and accounted for about 20 percent of Centro’s revenue.

QuanticMind, which counts Caterpillar among its customers, is Centro’s third acquisition. Its software enables buyers to evaluate tens of thousands of search terms and phrases to more efficiently bid on individual keywords. It also allows advertisers to combine online activity with offline shopping behavior of customers.

Read more at www.chicagobusiness.com

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