Inuvo Buys NetSeer, Expects 4Q Revenue Growth


02/07/17 10:10 Pm EDT

News Organization: Arkansas Business

http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/115456/inuvo-acquires-netseer-releases-projected-4q-earnings?page=1


Advertising technology and digital publishing company Inuvo Inc. of Little Rock announced Tuesday that it has closed on the acquisition of NetSeer Inc. of Sunnyvale, California, a provider of visual monetization services for advertisers and publishers.

Under the terms of the asset purchase agreement, Inuvo issued 3.53 million shares of its common stock and assumed "specified liabilities related to the business."

The company's managers will discuss the acquisition and its fourth-quarter earnings during a conference call set for 3:15 p.m. on Feb. 13.

Trey Barrett, Inuvo's chief operations officer, said the company is expecting the NetSeer deal to add about $15 million to the combined company's topline revenue for 2017. He said executives have not decided whether the acquired company will keep its name.

"There is some brand value to the NetSeer name," Barrett said.

Inuvo will keep NetSeer's Silicon Valley office and its 20 employees, he said.

"With the acquisition of NetSeer, Inuvo will be adding a host of direct and agency advertising demand partners, valuable consumer interest data, new direct publisher relationships for cross-selling and sophisticated programmatic ad-technology and analytics," Chairman and CEO Richard Howe said in a news release.

Howe said he expects NetSeer's visual monetization platform to expand Inuvo's SearchLinks product suite and increase the value Inuvo can bring to publishers while being a strong contributor to growth.

Barrett said the platform's in-image technology customizes advertising to integrate it into images on a webpage. He said NetSeer also owns ConceptGraph, an intent-based ad targeting system that Barrett said can look at a webpage and understand its intent.

"Their technology allows us to interrogate the page, understand the page, what's the intent of the page and match that user intent with advertisers that want to reach users with that particular interest or intent," he said.

Barrett said Inuvo and NetSeer are similar companies. 

"Both sides could see there were great synergies between the two companies, so this was an opportunity that we found and were able to act upon very quickly … This wasn't a hard acquisition for us to decide whether it was a good deal or not," he said.

NetSeer CEO John Mracek said the deal means NetSeer's "dominant visual monetization business" is poised to grow faster. 

"The combined Inuvo/NetSeer product line of valuable and engaging ad units will allow publishers to improve both the experience and revenue generated from their websites," Mracek said.  

Barrett said Mracek is assisting in the transition and that NetSeer's executives will join Inuvo's leadership team.

Also this week, Inuvo said it expects to report net revenue of $19.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 12.5 percent from the third quarter. It also expects net revenue of $71.5 million for the year.

Inuvo expects to announce the final results on Feb. 13.

"We had a successful fourth quarter and holiday season largely driven by strong demand from advertisers," Howe said. "Revenues for the fourth quarter exceeded expectations. We are looking forward to another great year in 2017."