Progress Partners

Investment Banking

Progress Partners is a boutique investment firm based in Boston and New York City providing financial advisory services to companies in media, marketing, advertising, and software.

Pandora to Buy Ad-Tech Firm AdsWizz for $145M

AdsWizz is a leading digital audio monetization technology and data infrastructure provider

BOSTON, MA and NEW YORK, NY – April 9, 2018 – Progress Partners, a Boston- and New York-based M&A advisory firm, is pleased to announce the acquisition of its client AdsWizz, the global leader in digital audio advertising and data technology, by Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE:P), the leading music streaming service in the U.S., for a total consideration of $145,000,000.
 
Serving the largest publishers in the Digital Audio industry, AdsWizz provides a full monetization stack for digital audio that enables a comprehensive share of the supply market, including digital radio, music streaming, and podcast publishers with tech and data solutions. Pandora’s acquisition of AdsWizz comes at a time when digital audio consumption is hitting an accelerated growth trend in the U.S. and rest of world, and more marketers are pushing budgets towards leading digital audio publishers like Pandora, which attract listeners at scale. AdsWizz’s monetization technology allows digital audio publishers to manage direct and programmatic inventory sales through private marketplaces or direct to demand channels, as well as critical technology for dynamic ad insertion across various streaming options.
 
From Pandora’s press release, Alexis van de Wyer, CEO of San Mateo-based AdsWizz, stated, “Our mission at AdsWizz has been to enable the global monetization of digital audio by building innovative advertising technologies for music streaming services, digital broadcasters and podcasters. We believe in providing value to all stakeholders – brands, publishers and listeners – through engaging and well-targeted advertising experiences.”
 
Mr. van de Wyer added, “Now is the time to combine forces with Pandora, one of the leaders and pioneers in digital audio, and accelerate our ability to provide solutions that meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of advertisers and digital audiences.”
 
Once fully integrated, AdsWizz’s global marketplace will enable advertisers to transact across Pandora and other leading publishers in audio industry. Pandora plans to support the growth of AdsWizz’s core business and invest in the development of technology that serves all constituents.
 
“With our scale in audio advertising and AdsWizz’s tech expertise, we will create the largest digital audio advertising ecosystem, better serving global publishers and advertisers — while improving Pandora’s own monetization capabilities,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Pandora.
 
As the exclusive advisor to AdsWizz in the transaction, Progress Partners, and its founder Nick MacShane, were thrilled with the opportunity to work with the great management team at AdsWizz, the true market leader in this new emerging category for the digital ecosystem.
 
“We congratulate Alexis and the team at AdsWizz on this important acquisition not only for the ad-tech ecosystem, but for the future of Digital Audio,” noted Nick MacShane, a senior managing director at Progress Partners. “We believe this is only the beginning of the Digital Audio technology market that supports leading players like Pandora and Spotify – in addition to the advent of digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home – the opportunities to re-think how monetization is enabled in these environments will start to attract more entrepreneurs like Alexis in the future. The combination with AdsWizz will enable Pandora to own leading infrastructure needed to serve agencies and advertisers, along with other emerging digital audio publishers as the broader industry wakes up to the efficacy of the medium.”
 
For more on the deal, read the press release here.

About AdsWizz

AdsWizz has created the end-to-end technology platform that is powering the digital audio advertising ecosystem. AdsWizz powers well-known music platforms, podcasts and broadcasting groups worldwide with a comprehensive digital audio software suite of solutions that connect audio publishers to the advertising community. From dynamic ad insertion to advanced programmatic platforms to innovative new audio formats, AdsWizz efficiently connects buyers and sellers in digital audio. AdsWizz is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with a presence in over 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.adswizz.com.

About Pandora

Pandora is the world’s most powerful music discovery platform – a place where artists find their fans and listeners find music they love. We are driven by a single purpose: unleashing the infinite power of music by connecting artists and fans, whether through earbuds, car speakers, live on stage or anywhere fans want to experience it. Our team of highly trained musicologists analyze hundreds of attributes for each recording which powers our proprietary Music Genome Project®, delivering billions of hours of personalized music tailored to the tastes of each music listener, full of discovery, making artist/fan connections at unprecedented scale. Founded by musicians, Pandora empowers artists with valuable data and tools to help grow their careers and connect with their fans. For more information, visit www.pandora.com.

About Progress Partners

Progress Partners is a Boston and New York-based M&A advisory firm working with emerging technology companies within media, marketing, advertising sectors, serving SMB through Enterprise. Progress Partners works with buyers and sellers of high growth companies to complete M&A transactions, raise debt or equity capital, as well as, develop and implement strategic growth plans. The firm's high standards of excellence, deep industry experience, extensive network, and entrepreneurial background give Progress Partners the ability to build and realize superior value for its clients. Securities offered by Applied Capital, LLC, member of FINRA and SIPC. For more information, please visit www.progresspartners.com.

Media Contact:
Emily Leinbach, (617) 401-2724
eleinbach@progresspartners.com

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