Rubicon-Telaria merger: Can independent platforms beat DoubleClick and Adsense?
Rubicon and Telaria join forces in an attempt to create a viable alternative to Google and Facebook ad tools
For almost a decade, Google and Facebook had almost a complete reign over the digital advertising market. In 2018 they were joined by the Amazon, creating a triumvirate of largest online advertising platforms.

Merger between the advertising exchange Rubicon Project and Telaria is aimed to change the digital marketing landscape by creating the largest independent SSP in the world.
The merger will result in a creation of a new company which is yet to be named, where the President and CEO of Rubicon Project Michael Barrett will take the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, and Telaria CEO Mark Zagorski will become Chief Executive Officer.
Who are these people?
Rubicon Project is a global advertising exchange founded in 2007 by Frank Addante, Craig Roah, Duc Chau and Julie Mattern. Rubicon declares their mission is to «keep the Internet free and open». It is a hidden jab at the three industry whales who basically monopolized the digital advertising market.

Nowadays, Rubicon Project is among the world's largest SSPs. It is a publicly traded company (NYSE:RUBI) with headquarters in Los Angeles.
Rubicon Project usage by websites across the globe Source:
Telaria is a video management platform optimizing ad yield for video publishers. It works with Hulu, PlutoTV, Globo, and many other world's leading video content publishers. Telaria's headquarters are located in New York city, and it also has 13 offices around the globe.

After the merger Rubicon Project and Telaria will have more than 600 employees and will have a foothold in 19 cities all over the world.
One-on-one. Almost
The parties agreed that each share of Telaria common stock will be exchanged for 1.082 shares of Rubicon Project common stock minus any applicable withholding taxes. As a result, Telaria stockholders will hold around 47.1% shares of a new company, and Rubicon Project stockholders - around 52.9%.
Breaking news
Rubicon and Telaria announced their merger on 19th of December, and the very next day shares of Telaria went up 11.7%, while shares of Rubicon grew about 7%. Craig-Hallum analyst Jason Kreyer called the soon-to-be created company "The Trade Desk of the supply side."

Kreyer also re-assessed his price targets on both Rubicon Project - $12 to $13, and Telaria - $11 to $14. The analyst is optimistic about the future of the ambitious merger.

Similarly, senior technology specialist at The Motley Fool Daniel Sparks calls Telaria "a high-quality company that has largely flown under the radar and is trading at a bargain valuation" and names it as his top stock pick for 2020.
The goldmine of CTV
CTV is scorching hot right now. In the Q3 Telaria's revenue from CTV grew stunning 115% year over year. In Q3 2017 it was merely 6% of the overall revenue, and now it reaches 44%.

The future looks bright, as traditional TV advertising spend (around $70B in 2019) is expected to shift to CTV. As of now, CTV spend in 2019 was around $7B, but is expected to reach $10B by 2021.
If the merger falls through, Rubicon might want to go into CTV as well, potentially taking a part of Telarias market share. Despite the eagerness of both companies to follow through with the merger, that is still a risk Telaria should take into account.
David vs Goliath
Despite all the ruckus around the merger, even combined Rubicon & Telaria are hardly a match for the three giants. The aggregate revenue of Rubicon and Telaria over the last 12 months was $217 million, which is nearly incomparable to the revenue of Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Though the giants are yet to disclose their revenues over the last 12 months, the difference is quite obvious even in terms of market capitalization - as of January 2020, Rubicon market cap was $566.34M, and Telaria's - $536.72M. Together they made $1,03B. While Google boasts $960.96B market cap, Amazon comes close second with $945.42B, and Facebook finishes third with $607.59B.
While largest independent advertising platform in the world, combined Rubicon-Telaria will still remain no match for these giants - unless something drastic happens. However, the new company is very likely to draw in a lot of new clients unhappy with the ruling triumvirate, conditions they offer the publishers, and prices.
Photo: Adobe.stock, Rubicon Project, Telaria, Hulu
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