Japanese Geniee acquires AdPushup operator Zelto for $70 million

Japanese marketing technology company Geniee, part of the SoftBank Group, paid around $70 million in cash to acquire revenue optimization platform Zelto (formerly known as AdPushup), said a person close to the case, offering 40 times the return to a number of angels. investors in the startup which began its journey in India.

The acquisition is a remarkable turnaround for Zeltothe 10-year-old company that provides content creators and web publishers with tools to generate more revenue by leveraging dozens of ad exchanges, which had near death experiences twice in his career. In 2014, the startup nearly ran out of cash. He later scrambled his product offerings after his marquee service struggled to break through, Zelto founder and CEO Ankit Oberoi told TechCrunch in an interview.

The two companies announced the agreement on Thursday, but did not disclose terms of the deal. The source requested anonymity to share private information. Zelto’s Oberoi, which has been profitable for several years and has raised less than $2.5 million in external funding during its startup journey, declined to disclose terms of the deal. She, NDTV, Cnet, PCMag, Mashable and GSMArena are among customers of AdPushup, Zelto’s flagship offering, according to the company’s website.

“It was a roller coaster ride. We’ve had our fair share of challenges. But I think those tough times have actually been helpful,” Oberoi said. “After the launch, customers left. Half the team is kind of gone. But it forced us to look at the core value we deliver to customers. And when we nearly ran out of cash in 2014, we were forced to become thrifty and profitable.

The acquisition will not significantly change how Zelto operates, he said. “It’s business as usual for us. But now that we have the backing of a company backed by SoftBank, we’re going to invest a lot more in our growth and expand into Southeast Asian markets that we weren’t exploring before. Zelto, which maintains a large team in India and has begun its journey in the country, identifies the United States as its headquarters and biggest market.

“I am very happy to have this partnership which will greatly advance the goal of Zelto and Geniee. My first encounter with Ankit was seven years ago. At the time, it was still a small company, but I invested into Ankit with the intuition that she would become a leading global entrepreneur in the industry,” Geniee CEO Tomoaki Kudo said in a statement.

“I also feel a deep sense of respect that they have achieved strong growth in the highly competitive, cutting-edge markets of North America and India. In the future, we would like to learn from North American and Indian markets, Zelto’s technology, services, knowledge and corporate culture, and strongly promote the globalization of Geniee to achieve its goal.

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