Social engagement platform OpenWeb has acquired global advertising platform AdYouLike for $100m (£77m) in cash and stock. In a blog post explaining the move, OpenWeb said that in order to improve online conversation, it needed to build the social layer of the open internet, which it describes as “a parallel universe to the walled gardens that’s rooted in healthy conversations, transparent first-party data relationships, and mutual prosperity for all stakeholders.”
With its acquisition of AdYouLike, it said, OpenWeb is bringing capabilities previously reserved for the walled gardens to the open internet, taking another step closer to making its vision a reality.
Since 2011, AdYouLike has been working to reinvent native advertising with innovative, engaging, and social ad formats that create unique, seamless user experiences across the open internet.
Launched in Paris in 2011 by Julien Verdier, Yohan Elmaalem, Francis Turner, and Dale Lovell, today AdYouLike works with over 4,000 brands, agencies, and publishers, including The Guardian, Reach, Prisma Media and Groupe Marie-Claire.
OpenWeb has partnered with more than 1,000 top-tier media to build engaged communities on the web, turning casual visitors into loyal users. With AdYouLike’ social advertising experiences, OpenWeb said it will connect audiences with brands across the web as a seamless part of the on-site experience for its more than 100m monthly active users.
The acquisition brings more than 70 new team members to OpenWeb, bringing the company’s headcount to almost 300, and growing its presence in Europe with new offices in London and Paris.