OpenWeb acquires Hive Media Group to boost first-party capabilities

The audience management company is looking to build on its suite of tools that help publishers understand their audiences.

Audience management platform OpenWeb has purchased publishing tech company Hive Media Group to improve the selection of tools available to its publisher clients – and create a more robust and useful set of first-party to data to activate around their audiences.

The deal is for a mix of cash and stock and valued at $60 million USD. Hive Media has more than 60 employees – including a team of 30 in London, Ontario, with a smaller team in Vancouver, both of which were pegged for growth following a round of Series E funding last year – all of whom will make the transition to OpenWeb. Hive also has staff in California and Israel, and their addition will bring OpenWeb’s headcount to more than 225. It will also give OpenWeb – with offices in New York City, Tel Aviv, and Kiev – its first on-the-ground presence in Canada.

OpenWeb works with more than 1,000 publishers, including AOL, Hearst, Fox and TechCrunch, hosting online communities that engage more than 100 million active users each month. OpenWeb also offers advertisers opportunities within the conversations it hosts, with open web, brand safe and highly targeted opportunities.

OpenWeb’s value proposition is empowering publishers to own the relationship with their audiences and providing advertisers with highly relevant and targeted opportunities. To achieve this mission in the impending cookieless world, the company needs to build on its ability to accumulate and leverage a publisher’s first-party data.

Through its publishing platform, Hive Media Group has built session optimization, user acquisition and SEO tools that aim to help OpenWeb in this goal, which will be tested on its partner websites before being rolled out broadly. Through this acquisition, OpenWeb says its technology offering will become even more robust – by expanding the types of editorial tools publishers have access to, they will be able to better engage and activate their audiences.

For the time being, Hive Media Group will operate as an independent business unit under OpenWeb and will therefore keep its name. Guy Yeshua and Stacy Abraham will remain as CEO and COO of Hive Media Group, with Yeshua also joining OpenWeb’s executive leadership team.