Rocket Fuel's exit highlights complexities of ad tech business models
After billions of dollars in venture capital investment and initial public offerings (IPOs), a fragmented advertising technology (ad tech) sector is maturing and consolidating. On July 18 ad serving vendor Sizmek announced it would acquire programmatic ad-buying specialist Rocket Fuel (Nasdaq: FUEL) for $145 million, including debt. In 3Q16 Sizmek was acquired by private equity firm Vector Capital for $122 million. By integrating Sizmek and Rocket Fuel assets, Vector Capital looks to assemble a formidable contender against Google, which has largely cornered the ad serving market via DoubleClick.