InMarket acquires location-based marketing firm NinthDecimal

Christel Deskins

Location-based marketing firm InMarket has acquired NinthDecimal in a bid to take on big rivals like Foursquare. The two companies have combined annual revenue of $100 million and aim to build a large location business to help marketers buy, track, and measure ads. Data privacy laws and regulation have put […]

  • Location-based marketing firm InMarket has acquired NinthDecimal in a bid to take on big rivals like Foursquare.
  • The two companies have combined annual revenue of $100 million and aim to build a large location business to help marketers buy, track, and measure ads.
  • Data privacy laws and regulation have put location-based marketing under scrutiny, though InMarket argues that being app-based gives it an advantage over other firms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

Digital ad firm InMarket is acquiring NinthDecimal amid growing scrutiny over how companies track consumers.

The companies are two of the bigger names in the location-based advertising space. InMarket works with brands to buy and target location-based ads within publishers’ apps. NinthDecimal sells tools to clients like Pinterest that track the performance of their ad campaigns.

InMarket declined to say the price of the acquisition. Combined, the two companies say that they have $100 million in annual revenue with 200 employees.

A few years ago, dozens of firms pitched marketers the ability to target ads to people based on their location. But advertisers are looking to work with fewer firms, which has led some of those firms to consolidate. Location rival Foursquare for one acquired Placed and Factual in the past year.

Location tech is under growing scrutiny from regulators

Data privacy laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation are clamping down on how companies collect and share people’s data. Location firms that track where consumers go have come under particular scrutiny when consumers do not know that their location is being tracked.

Todd Dipaola, CEO and founder of InMarket, argued that InMarket’s focus on apps makes it better positioned to survive scrutiny than other firms, though.

Unlike websites, apps require consumers to opt-in to share their data in the form of downloading an app or agreeing to privacy policies before they can access the app, or choosing to allow for an app to use location data.

The coronavirus has also thrown a wrench into location-based marketing as advertisers pull spending and people spend time at home. NinthDecimal CEO Michael Fordyce said that the deal with InMarket was in place before the coronavirus. InMarket saw a boom in business during the pandemic with people stocking up on items at grocery stores and buying groceries online.

“There might be fewer trips to the store, but people are buying way more than they ever were before,” said InMarket’s Dipaola.

Dipaola said that InMarket and NinthDecimal’s products do not overlap and that only 2% of combined revenues come from the same clients. In addition to NinthDecimal, InMarket acquired location tech firm ThinkNear last year. Most NinthDecimal’s employees including leadership will join InMarket, said Fordyce.

“The space is a wide one and that was what we saw as a huge opportunity,” said InMarket’s Dipaola. “We’re not competing in the same space for the same business.”

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