As acquisitions go, this one makes sense. Appcast, a U.S. provider of programmatic job ad distribution is acquired by Germany-based Stepstone a global network of job boards. Stepstone’s brand is considerably stronger outside of the U.S. which makes this not only about the job board fox getting into the ad distribution hen house, but also a potentially stronger channel to U.S. sales for the German company.
Based on the disclosed amount of $79.5 million USD (converted at today’s exchange rate), this is probably a pretty good deal for Appcast investors. This is completely speculation on my part. I have no insight to Appcast revenue. Just a sense of the market. While programmatic advertising has been top of mind for anyone with an advertising budget, it’s starting to creep into recruitment marketing platforms and more competition has entered the market in the last few years. Timing seems good.
Programmatic advertising is a category that never took off as many expected. While Appcast seemed to achieve good traction, there has just never been the wholesale shift to the model that requires advertisers to have faith in the “black box,” and to let go of where their employer brand gets made visible. The same concerns exist in the world of B2B and B2C programmatic advertising, however you could say the category is more successful there.
The big questions will be in how Stepstone leverages the Appcast platform, given their vested interested in getting job seeker traffic.