US digital marketing firm Gravity4 snaps up ad2one’s divisions in Australia and New Zealand to build portfolio

Company continues buying spree after recent takeover of Pixels, Hong Kong’s largest digital agency

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 January, 2016, 8:07pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 January, 2016, 8:07pm

United States-based online marketing technology firm Gravity4 has followed up its recent takeover of Hong Kong’s largest digital advertising agency, Pixels, with two new acquisitions in Australia and New Zealand.

Kevin Huang, the Hong Kong-based managing director for Gravity4’s Asia-Pacific operations, said on Tuesday that purchasing the Australia and New Zealand divisions of digital advertising marketplace operator ad2one has increased the number of advertisers served by Gravity4 in the region to more than 500.

“Australia and New Zealand represent strategically important markets for Gravity4’s continued expansion in the Asia-Pacific,” said Huang, who was chief executive at Pixels prior to its acquisition by Gravity4.

He claimed that Gravity4 was in a position to become the largest independent operator of premium digital advertising platforms in Asia by revenue, following those two deals.

Financial terms of the latest acquisitions, both completed on December 31, were not disclosed.

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.

Huang 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”.

Gurbaksh Chahal, the chairman and chief executive of Gravity4, said the combined deals with ad2one marked the company’s 15th overall acquisition.

Before the ad2one deals, the combined Gravity4 and Pixels business was predicted to post more than US$40 million in revenue this year from its Asia-Pacific operations.

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 this year, up from an estimated US$56.84 billion last year.

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

Australia is the third-biggest market in the region for digital advertising after Japan. Digital advertising spending in Australia is forecast to reach US$5.51 billion this year, compared with last year’s US$5.02 billion total.

“Gravity4’s marketing cloud is a great fit for both the Australian and New Zealand divisions,” ad2one chief executive Grant Allaway said.

“We’re eager to form a strategic relationship at the global level.”

For more than a decade, ad2one has been working with a selection of premium brands and publishers - including the BBC, Reuters, LinkedIn and Sony PlayStation - and reached more than 70 per cent of the combined online population in Australia and New Zealand, according to Allaway.