Ensighten Buys Anametrix Amid Consolidation in Digital Marketing

San Jose, CA-based Ensighten, which provides Web-based tag management technology for corporate customers, says today it has acquired Anametrix, a San Diego specialist in software-as-a-service used to analyze and optimize multi-channel digital marketing.

It is Ensighten’s second acquisition this year, and extends a wave of consolidation that has been underway for more than a year among digital media and marketing companies.

In an interview yesterday, Ensighten founder and CEO Josh Manion declined to disclose terms of the deal.

A source familiar with the buyout, however, describes it as a cash-and-stock deal in which the valuation ultimately depends on how well Ensighten does from here.

Josh Manion

Josh Manion

Manion founded the company in Cupertino in 2009, moved it to San Jose in 2012, and says Ensighten now has about 230 employees. The company has raised at least $55 million from investors, according to Crunchbase, and my source says Ensighten’s year-over-year revenue growth is 150 percent.

Anametrix has raised about $7 million from investors since WebSideStory founder Blaise Barrelet started the company in 2010 with funding through his Analytics Ventures fund. Other investors include the San Diego private equity firm TVC Capital, which invested $4.4 million in late 2012, Airtek Capital Group, WMAS Management, Alain Schreiber; and former Summit Partners managing director Walter Kortschak.

Anametrix has about 35 employees at its San Diego headquarters. Manion says he not only plans to keep those operations in San Diego, but expand by “aggressively recruiting.”

The Anametrix deal follows the Dentsu Aegis Network’s acquisition last month of San Diego-based Covario and its high-end analytic technology for search engine marketing and optimization.

Dentsu Aegis, a global media and digital marketing company based in London, did not disclose the financial terms of its deal, either. But it has been on a buyout binge since Japan’s Dentsu closed its $4.9 billion purchase of the U.K.’s Aegis Group in early 2013. Dentsu Aegis has made at least 25 acquisitions over the past 20 months or so, according to Advertising Age.

Such acquisitions are consolidating a sector that has seen a proliferation of startups over the past decade. Manion says Ensighten’s competition ranges from goliaths like Adobe and Oracle, which have developed comprehensive digital marketing capabilities, to mid-size rivals like San Diego-based Tealium and Chicago’s Signal, which was previously known as BrightTag until June, a few months after BrightTag acquired its crosstown Chicago rival—the digital-marketing software developer Signal.

In March, Enlighten acquired London-based TagMan, another tag management rival with more than 400 customers, including Virgin America, Travelocity, Marriott, and DirecTV.

Manion, who also happens to rank among the top 60 U.S. chess players, says the abundance of companies providing analytic services in digital marketing has been wreaking chaos among the corporate marketing officers who are responsible for choosing from a bewildering array of online services and technologies.

Ensighten’s customers include such global brands as Microsoft, Capital One, United Airlines, T-Mobile, and Walmart, and with Anametrix’ capabilities, Manion says marketers will be getting richer data and analytics, enabling them to optimize their marketing mix and spending. While Enlighten’s customer base overlaps somewhat with Anametrix’ customers, Manion says the Anametrix buyout was more strategic in nature. He’s focused on adding capabilities that Anametrix has developed to gather data from such non-traditional sources as mobile apps, social media, reference sources like Nielsen, and internal systems. “Anametrix allows us to bring offline capabilities to bear,” Manion says.

Ensighten and Anametrix were already working under a partnership agreement reached a year and a half ago, which Manion says has given Ensighten the opportunity to understand the potential synergies of their merger. As he puts it, “Anametrix gives us new capabilities to visualize data, and apply predictive algorithms and modeling capabilities.”

Ensighten’s customers include such global brands as Microsoft, Capital One, United Airlines, T-Mobile, and Walmart, and with Anametrix’ capabilities, Manion says marketers will be getting richer data and analytics, enabling them to optimize their marketing mix and spending.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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