Jessica Goodfellow
Dec 6, 2019

Dataxu retreats from Asia following acquisition by Roku

It is believed that all staff across the adtech firm's Sydney and Singapore offices have been let go.

Dataxu retreats from Asia following acquisition by Roku

Dataxu is closing down its Asia-Pacific operations just one month after its acquisition by Roku was completed.

It is believed that all staff across the adtech firm's Sydney and Singapore offices have been let go, according to multiple sources.

Campaign Asia-Pacific has tried to contact various Dataxu staffers in Singapore and Sydney, but it appears their phones have been disconnected. Neither Dataxu nor Roku have returned Campaign's requests for comment.

It is not known what will happen to the adtech firm's ongoing projects and clients in the region—presumably they will be dialled back or transferred to the US. For example, Dataxu has a partnership with digital out-of-home provider Aircast in the Philippines to offer brands and agencies the ability to buy outdoor media programmatically. Last year it signed a memorandum of understanding with SK Broadband, Korea’s largest telco, to allow marketers to buy TV inventory addressably.

An Asia-Pacific retreat was expected following the completion of Dataxu's acquisition by US streaming platform Roku in November. Roku only serves US customers (although it has an advertising team in Shanghai) and the deal to buy Boston-headquartered Dataxu appears to be more about acquiring its proprietary technology than about tapping into the adtech firm's global customer base.

Announcing the deal in October, Roku said the adtech firm will allow it to provide marketers with a single, data-driven software solution to plan, buy, and optimise adspend across TV and OTT providers.

“TV advertising is shifting toward OTT and a data-driven model focused on business outcomes for brands,” said Anthony Wood, chief executive officer at Roku. “The acquisition of Dataxu will accelerate our ad platform while also helping our content partners monetize their inventory even more effectively.”

The purchase was for US$150 million in cash and stock, and has been referred to by some observers as a "fire sale". The adtech outfit was reportedly seeking double this amount ($300 million) when it explored a potential sale a year ago, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. According to Crunchbase, Dataxu has raised $87.5 million in funding.

The culling of its Singapore and Sydney operations follows Dataxu's closure of its India office earlier this year. It has also closed offices in Brazil and the US city of Detroit within the past year.

Besides APAC, the company has two European offices—in Berlin and London—and five offices in the US—in Boston (its HQ), Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. 

It is not known how many staff have been affected. Dataxu has between 250 to 500 employees globally, according to Crunchbase.

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