Millennial Media Buys Nexage for $107 Million

Bulks up on real-time bidding

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Millennial Media has acquired mobile ad exchange Nexage for $107.5 million in cash and stock to boost its programmatic offerings.

Under the deal, Nexage’s real-time bidding tools and mobile Web and app inventory across publishers will be used to build out Millennial’s automated media buying and selling tools. Nexage works with publishers such as The Weather Channel, the NFL and Reuters.

In a statement, Millennial cited scale, programmatic-based buying and better data as key reasons for the Nexage acquisition. The Baltimore-based company will pay $22.5 million in cash and roughly $85 million in stock for Nexage.

The deal signals the challenges that smaller mobile ad networks face in scaling and roping in new advertisers, especially with big brands that are driving Facebook and Twitter’s revenue from mobile devices.

Other major mobile acquisitions over the past year include Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub and Yahoo’s acquisition of Flurry in July.

In 2013, Millennial Media bought mobile ad network Jumptap to similarly build out real-time and cross-screen targeting capabilities on its platform. At $209 million, that deal was significantly bigger than the Nexage acquisition.

"Our vision is to create a full-stack solution that enables us to open the flow of impressions, operate a leading independent exchange and maximize the yield for our publishers," said Michael Barrett, Millennial Media’s president and CEO, in a statement.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.