News

Ad tech firms Turn and Pubmatic retrench staff

Turn logoPubmatic logoTwo major ad tech players have made a significant number of layoffs, signalling another wave of consolidation in a space that has experienced explosive growth over the last few years as automated advertising has taken off.

Pubmatic, a sell-side platform, has let 100 staff go globally, which amounts to around 20 per cent of its workforce.

Turn, a demand-side platform, has laid off 57 staff – 17 per cent of the company’s total – in business development, HR, marketing and management in a bid to cut costs, AdExchange is reporting.

It was unclear at the time of publishing how the Asian parts of these businesses will be affected, but Pubmatic told Mumbrella this morning that the move was designed to “support our core customers and propel continued growth and profitability in 2016.”

“To support this effort, we are moving (smart-shoring) resources – particularly in client operations — into local markets such as Tokyo and Singapore,” a spokesperson said.

Turn has not responded to Mumbrella’s queries.

Pubmatic has APAC offices in Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore and Delhi, and its global boss Kirk McDonald recently told Mumbrella that the company wanted to enter China and potentially Indonesia next year.

Turn has 18 offices, mainly in the US, with APAC outlets in Hong Kong and Japan. The firm has been spending heavily on marketing in the trade press in Asia to build its brand, with regional boss Cindy Deng a common presence speaking at ad tech industry forums.

The news emerges seven months after Rocket Fuel, another major ad tech player, shedded 129 staff in a bid to reduce operating costs.

The first casualty in the ad tech space in APAC was Australian firm Brandscreen, which went into administration in January last year. The company has since been bought out by US firm Zenovia.

In August this year, the Southeast Asian operations of Indian ad tech firm Komli Media were acquired by Malaysian telco Axiata. Later that month, Komli sold its Indian business to SVG Media, a digital media network.

In an article on the UK edition of Campaign magazine a few weeks ago, the global head of Vivaki, Marco Bertozzi, predicted that next year could be the year that the ad tech industry started to break up.

Pubmatic’s response in full:

Today, PubMatic announced a reorganization to support our core customers and propel continued growth and profitability in 2016. Our goal is to drive increased monetization for our customers as well as deliver outstanding customer service.

We are intensifying our focus on the minority of customers that represent more than 90 percent of platform activity and are poised to grow with us — meaning, we are  deepening relationships with major branded customers that are successfully navigating mobile and thriving. To support this effort, we are moving (smart-shoring) resources – particularly in client operations — into local markets such as Tokyo and Singapore.

As we strengthen our focus on core publisher customers, we are dramatically increasing the size of our Advertiser Solutions team, which will improve monetization from Programmatic Direct sales in particular.

Further, we will be simplifying our operational organization to reduce multiple hand offs while improving operational excellence and the overall customer experience.  And, we are increasing our focus on automating many internal processes – data center operations, back office workflows, software quality assurance.

PubMatic is a profitable company, with a bright future.  In fact, the company is on track to achieve its third consecutive year of profitability. The programmatic market continues to flourish. PubMatic remains uniquely positioned as an industry leader, and our opportunity continues to grow exponentially with the market. We are investing in our future growth by refocusing how we work more directly and seamlessly with customers.

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