Peter Kafka

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Exclusive: With Eye on IPO, Glam Buys Sportgenic to Build Out Ad Platform

With an eye on a public offering, Glam Media is buying Sportgenic, a sports-oriented ad network.

The purchase price, I’m told, is something in the $12 million to $15 million range, including earnouts provisions.

Sportgenic claims it reaches 35 million uniques, and Glam, which is primarily geared toward women and advertisers who want to reach them, is interested in some of that business. But the real driver in the deal is AdPortal, an ad management platform for publishers that Sportgenic created and spun out into a separate unit.

Glam’s plan, as described in the release below, is to merge AdPortal into its “GlamAdapt Platform,” which it launched earlier this summer and which is supposed to be a rival to Google’s (GOOG) DoubleClick display advertising unit. If you follow ad tech, you’ll understand what the following means: Glam already had its version of DoubleClick for Advertisers; now it has its own version of DoubleClick for Publishers, too.

Sportgenic raised at least $10 million over its five-year lifespan, so the deal, paid out in cash and stock, isn’t a great one for its investors, who include GreyCroft and SoftTechVC. But Glam is moving toward an IPO–that’s why it brought on Microsoft (MSFT) deal guy Bruce Jaffe as CFO in May– and if that comes to fruition, it’s possible that equity in the company could become a nice thing to own.

Sportgenic CEO Robert Tas told me he would call me back earlier this morning but I’m still waiting on the call. In the meantime, we can assume that he was talking about the deal when he sent out the following tweet three days ago:

Release:

GLAM MEDIA TO ACQUIRE ADPORTAL—INNOVATIVE SILICON VALLEY
MEDIA TECHNOLOGY STARTUP

Launches “GlamAdapt for Publishers” Offering a Fully-Automated Publisher-Side Platform For Premium Brand-Ad Inventory

Used By Major Internet Publishers Such as Time, Inc. and CBS, AdPortal Web-Enables the Packaging of Premium Advertising Solutions to Manage Advertising Sales to Agencies, Demand-Side Platforms, Direct, and Self-Serve for Local Ads

Silicon Valley, California and New York, New York—July 23, 2010—Glam Media, Inc. (www.GlamMedia.com), the number one vertical media company for women online and one of the top display global media web properties, today announced that it is going to acquire AdPortal (www.Adportal.net), a leading publisher advertising-technology startup based in San Francisco and New York, and also announced the launch of “GlamAdapt for Publishers,” a fully automated publisher-side platform for seamlessly packaging digital advertising solutions across multiple ad sales channels–Agencies, Demand-Side Platforms, Direct, and Self-Serve for Local Advertisers and Resellers– designed for super premium brand advertising.

“Glam Media’s heart and soul is about publishers and professional social media content,” said Samir Arora, chairman and CEO of Glam Media. “With the acquisition of AdPortal, we are launching ‘GlamAdapt for Publishers,’ a one-stop solution to web- enable all digital inventory for existing and emerging demand sales channels. AdPortal will bring one of the most advanced technology products to the recently announced next generation GlamAdapt Platform designed for Brand Advertising.”

GlamAdapt for Publishers (GFP) helps publishers sell more of their valuable premium inventory through the creation, marketing, and measuring of high impact sales packages across multiple demand channels. Publishers can take advantage of GlamAdapt’s creative, targeting, network management, and measurement services to deliver comprehensive brand solutions for advertisers. Leveraging GlamAdapt’s open “Advertising Apps Platform,” GFP comes with built-in support for leading third-party data, measurement, and creative providers. Publishers also gain access to sales management and efficiency tools that can create client-ready media plans in a matter of minutes. This combination provides greater access to brand dollars—enabling publishers to drive higher value deals with more efficient sales forces.

“Our goal with AdPortal has always been to empower publishers to make the most use of their premium inventory, while making it easy for advertisers to get their message in front of the people they want to target,” said Robert Tas, CEO and Founder of AdPortal, a former SVP of Media & Technology at 24/7 and one of the founders of Tacoda. “We
are thrilled to be a part of Glam Media and integrate AdPortal into GlamAdapt, now a full alternative ad-tech platform for premium brand advertising.”

Tas will be joining Glam Media as Vice President of GlamAdapt Platform. “Linden Lab has had success with AdPortal, allowing us to drive greater value for our premium inventory,” said Robin Ducot, VP of Web Development at Linden Lab. “We are pleased that AdPortal is becoming part of GlamAdapt, and look forward to working with Glam Media to drive innovation around audience packages, brand-focused analytics, and advanced ad formats.”

Glam is also announcing today GlamAdapt is now running at scale delivering 100% of Glam’s premium business, with over 1,500 publishers and 500 brand advertisers running over 1,000 campaigns since launch worldwide.

AdPortal is a Silicon Valley venture-funded spinoff of Sportgenic, with investors including top-tier VC firms SoftTechVC and Greycroft Partners, key Silicon Valley startup investors and a list of premium publishers. AdPortal’s San Francisco-based employees will join the Glam Media ad products team in Silicon Valley.


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