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US-based Gravity4 acquires Hong Kong’s largest digital advertising agency

Pixels boss says advertisers, partners and employees will see immediate benefits

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 November, 2015, 8:59pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 November, 2015, 9:11pm

United States-based online marketing technology company Gravity4 expects to make a big push into the Asia-Pacific market on the back of its acquisition of Pixels, Hong Kong’s largest digital advertising agency.

Gravity4 this week agreed to purchase for an undisclosed sum 93.7 per cent of Pixels, and plans to acquire the remaining shares it does not own within the next few months.

Gurbaksh Chahal, the chairman and chief executive of Gravity4 said Pixels “boasts one of the smartest management teams”, who would help lead the US firm’s expansion plans in the region.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Gravity4 delivers the world’s first “high frequency marketing cloud” that is touted to drive a company’s digital marketing efforts across the World Wide Web, mobile, video and social media channels.

We hope to be in as many parts of Asia as possible, covering the most important markets
Kevin Huang, Pixels CEO

Kevin Huang, the chief executive at Pixels, described Gravity4’s high-frequency marketing cloud as an automated system that enables marketers “to match the right ad to the right person at the right time”,

“Advertisers are increasingly reliant on digital channels for all aspects of their business. This includes their customer relationship management, e-commerce, marketing, branding, and customer acquisition and loyalty programmes,” Huang told the South China Morning Post.

“Unfortunately many of these systems come from different vendors and are not integrated for advertisers to effectively use the data collected.”

Huang, who will remain as head of Pixels, said Gravity4 helps companies automate and simplify that process of learning more about their customers and using such data for future marketing programmes.

Data from research firm eMarketer shows that digital advertising spending in the Asia-Pacific is forecast to increase 22 per cent to reach US$69.38 billion next year, up from an estimated US$56.84 billion this year.

In the region, Indonesia is the leading market for digital advertising spending with an 80 per cent growth rate predicted this year, according to eMarketer.

Mainland China, however, remains the biggest digital advertising market in the region. It is projected to record US$39.344 billion in digital advertising spending next year, up from an estimated US$30.81 billion this year.

“Our advertisers, partners, and employees will see the immediate benefits of being part of Gravity4,” Huang said. “We hope to be in as many parts of Asia as possible, covering the most important markets.”

The combined Gravity4 and Pixels business is predicted to post more than US$40 million in revenue next year from its Asia-Pacific operations.

Pixels was created in October 2014 as a result of the merger between digital media companies Pixel Media, Snap Mobile and Adsfactor. The company, which has about 100 employees, also has offices in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Shanghai.

Gravity4’s other offices are in Bermuda, Ireland, Brazil, Denmark, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Columbia, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Finland.