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Roku is buying ad tech company Dataxu in $150 million deal

Key Points
  • Roku said it has entered into an agreement to buy Boston-based demand-side platform Dataxu.
  • Dataxu provides marketers with automated bidding and self-serve software to manage ad campaigns programmatically across digital platforms. 
  • Roku said the $150 million will be a mix of cash and stock. 
Anthony Wood
David Orrell | CNBC

Roku is buying Dataxu, a platform that lets marketers plan and buy video ad campaigns, for $150 million in cash and stock. The deal was announced Tuesday morning. Roku shares were up more than 2% Tuesday morning.

Boston-based Dataxu (pronounced: data zoo), a demand-side platform, provides marketers with automated bidding and self-serve software to manage ad campaigns programmatically across digital platforms.

Roku said buying Dataxu's platform will complement its existing ad platform and give marketers a software solution that lets them plan, buy and optimize ad spend across TV and over-the-top providers. The company also said Dataxu's team includes "strong talent" in software engineering, data science and analytics.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

"TV advertising is shifting toward OTT and a data-driven model focused on business outcomes for brands," Anthony Wood, Roku CEO, said in a statement. "The acquisition of Dataxu will accelerate our ad platform while also helping our content partners monetize their inventory even more effectively."

Dataxu's co-founder and CEO Mike Baker wrote in a blog post that the company's "vision has always been to bring [its] capabilities to the post powerful form of media — TV." He added that "For now, it's business as usual for our customers, partners and employees."

A year ago, the Wall Street Journal reported Dataxu had hired investment bank GCA Advisors as it explored a potential sale. According to the report, Dataxu was initially seeking a valuation of around $300 million. According to Crunchbase, Dataxu has raised $87.5 million in funding.

In July, Amazon said it had opened up its connected TV apps integrated with Amazon Publisher Services for advertisers working with Dataxu and The Trade Desk. That opened up ad inventory for third-party TV content providers on Amazon's Fire TV devices for advertisers working with those outside companies.

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