Acquisitions / Advertising

Adtech company Vistar Media, with a Philly ‘engineering HQ’, just acquired Sage+Archer

The acquisition adds 26 people to Vistar's global team, and it's seeking more dev talent.

The Vistar Media team at a recent holiday party. (Courtesy photo)
Decade-old adtech company Vistar Media has acquired European group Sage+Archer in a move to accelerate its growth abroad.

The acquisition of 2019-founded Sage+Archer brings a “strategic influx of capital” to Vistar’s growth across Europe, per its announcement. Leslie Lee, Vistar’s SVP of marketing, told the company was challenged in finding talent fast enough to execute on the growth plans it had. This acquisition, which brings 26 new staffers into the fold under a standalone division, helped in that regard, although it’s still hiring lots of engineering talent, Lee said.

Engineering is where Vistar’s Philly connection comes in — its “engineering HQ” is based here, despite the company’s main base in New York. It currently has 33 engineers, with the vast majority based here in Philly, Lee said. And it’s looking to add more: There are currently about 10 or so open engineering roles as the company grows.

Vistar’s tech is an end-to-end programmatic advertising marketplace, and software solutions built for the digital out-of-home. The two companies had been partners for a few years, and in mid-2021 conversations shifted to pursuing a strategic partnership, Lee said. CEOs Michael Provenzano, of Vistar, and Diederick Ubels, of Sage+Archer, began meeting and connecting engineering teams, and the deal became official this year.

“As an entrepreneur at heart, I saw right away that the Sage+Archer team had built something special,” Provenzano said in a statement. “By joining our forces, we now have a team of agency and brand experts to bring the full promise of programmatic out-of-home — targeted, measurable, automated campaigns — to the European market with speed and scalable support.”

Vistar already had presence across Europe, but mostly on supply side, and the acquisition will allow Vistar to work very closely with brands and agencies across Europe. Some of Sage+Archer’s partnerships with buyers include Dentsu International, Matterkind, Heineken, OMD and Essent.

“Sage+Archer is active in a lot of markets, many more than we currently were,” Lee said. “It’s great to combine our global view to combine a team that has really localized expertise.”

The addition of Sage+Archer brings the company’s headcount to 154 globally. Financial details were not disclosed.

“As we saw in 2021 and are seeing so far in 2022, the OOH industry and ad tech as a whole is on fire. We are bursting at the seams with opportunities, hustling to staff our teams to handle the load and still have what seems like countless untapped, massive opportunities ahead of us,” Provenzano said in a blog post about the deal. “The time is now to double down on our business and accelerate our growth. The Sage+Archer team are already the leaders in their market, so by bringing them on board we are rapidly increasing the scale and quality of support we can bring to the European marketplace.”

Companies: Vistar Media

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