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One tweet I made recently received a good deal of attention:
2005: Gannett buys #PointRoll for $100 million cash https://t.co/2Im1PgV1Br— tom paine (@phillytechnews) April 16, 2016
Late 2015: sold for $11mm cash & 9mm loan
King of Prussia-based PointRoll, one of the Philly area's first new media successes, was actually sold by Tegna, the successor to Gannett that contains its non-newspaper properties; the newspapers were spun to a new Gannett Company.
Not that this is new news. After all, the deal was reached in late November, as Technically Philly reported at the time.
But the deterioration in value was perhaps more than some Ad tech people realized.
When it was acquired by Gannett, ClickZ referred to PointRoll as one of the "top four rich media companies", and its future seemed bright. But years of being a corporate kickball within Gannett, which seemed to me to never quite know why it owned it, probably dulled its creative and competitive edge and contributed to its shrinking value over time.
Also, the price PointRoll sold for may have reflected the current state of valuations in the Ad tech market as a whole:
@phillytechnews getting difficult for well-known but relatively small supply side platform like PointRoll to differentiate itself these days— Emily Del Greco (@emilydelgreco) April 16, 2016
Sign of the adtech times ... more down & dirty rounds and fire sales TK? https://t.co/D7GEEb1zEJ— Emily Del Greco (@emilydelgreco) April 16, 2016
There also was the late 2014 settlement of charges that PointRoll overrode Safari users' privacy preferences. It paid a $750,000 fine and agreed to monitoring.
PointRoll still has value to advertisers in certain segments. The CEO of the company that acquired PointRoll, New York-based Sizmek, said PointRoll serves a majority of ads from the automotive, CPG and retail industry, and it fit well with its strategy.
As to how many associates are left in King of Prussia, Technically Philly reported at the time of its acquisition by Sizmek that 100 out of approximately 300 were let go. But Sizmek's LinkedIn page has only 48 in the Greater Philadelphia area.
And the Inquirer reported a few days ago that PointRoll's CEO, Mario Diez, has left his job to take the top job at Elodina, a New York-based business software firm cofounded by another PointRoll vet.