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Media Post: To Regulate Or Not To Regulate, That Is The Programmatic Question

The afternoon panel at OMMA RTB in LA tackled perhaps the most important topics of the day: fraud, trust and the potential for regulation in the programmatic marketplace. Moderator Dan Chen, managing director at Siemer & Associates, asked the panelists whether or not they believe the industry is evolving in such a way that regulatory organizations would be required to play a larger role.

The question sparked quite the conversation, and varying opinions arose. Dick Bennett, founder and CEO of ImServices/AAM, said organizations such as the IAB, ANA and 4As are “talk[ing] a lot,” but he’s “not seeing them take any real strong action to control” fraud issues.

Jeremy Leonard, IMM’s chief operating officer, was quick to disagree with Bennett, noting that IMM has worked with some “great” auditing firms. He doesn’t take issue with regulatory organizations so much as the legitimacy of their regulations.
He said his clients laugh at the MRC’s definitions of viewability, which say that 50% of a display ad needs to be in-view for at least one second to count as viewable. Driving his point home, Leonard said the viewability standard is akin to calling a glass of cold water a sentient being.

Mark Torrence, CTO of Rocket Fuel, one of the largest programmatic ad platforms in the industry, believes new laws and regulations aren’t needed and that the industry could go “a long way” if it instead focuses on identifying and outing companies that are participating in fraud.

The gravity of the discussion was felt when the suggestion was made that fraudsters should do time “behind bars,” but Chen pointed out that most of the fraudulent activity is happening overseas, making prosecution easier said than done.

The panelists all seemed to agree on one thing, however: The industry is moving so fast that, at this stage, regulations would be more hindrance than help.

“The thing that worries me about regulation at this time is that the industry is moving very quickly, and I see regulation [being more applicable] to industries that aren’t moving as quickly,” noted Torrance. ”[The industry] is in amazing, amazing flux — every month. The idea that we can come in and figure out what those regulations ought to be … it feels like we are some years away.”

Andy Terentjev, senior director, enterprise West at comScore, agreed with Torrance, although Terentjev is a proponent of regulation and believes more enforcement and perhaps new regulations will be needed to “attract all those brand dollars into digital that we’ve been talking about for years.”

An audience member (from Accordant Media, a trading desk) pointed out another major flaw in potential industry regulation: inconsistencies in media measurement, even from vendors who have been accredited by the organizations leading regulatory efforts.

“Integral Ad Science versus DoubleVerify versus comScore — whose right?” the audience member asked. She said the trading desk gets different results from different vendors and has even seen vacuous suggestions such as blocking the New York Times Web site from its supply list.

Terentjev pointed out that the measurements vary because of different methodologies and technologies — something a different group of panelists at OMMA RTB ripped on earlier in the day.

Read the original article here.



Siemer & Associates LLC Advises Pulpo Media on its Acquisition by Entravision Communications Corporation

Strategic Acquisition Broadens Digital Solutions and Technology Capabilities ─ Pulpo Media Ranked #1 in Hispanic Digital Reach by comScore Media Metrix®

June 26, 2014 (Los Angeles, CA) ─ Siemer & Associates LLC, the merchant bank serving the digital media, software and technology industry, is pleased to announce it has advised Pulpo Media, Inc. on its sale to Entravision Communications Corporation. Entravision is a leading and diversified Spanish-language media company utilizing a combination of television, radio and digital operations to reach Latino consumers in the United States and Latin America. At the forefront of digital advertising services targeting Hispanics, ComScore ranks Pulpo Media #1 in both Hispanic Ad Focus Reach and Bicultural Audience Network. The addition of Pulpo Media’s proprietary technology platform and unique digital advertising solution will strengthen Entravision’s existing digital business and its ability to connect advertisers with the expanding Latino consumer market across digital platforms. Since launching in October of 2008, Pulpo Media has refined its in-depth acculturation models to become a leader among online Hispanic media solution providers.

“Siemer and Associates’ contribution to making the sale a success was invaluable,” said Justin Kuykendall, Founder and CEO of Pulpo Media. “They acted as a true partner. Their dedication to our global team, thoughtful and valuable advice, and creative solutions helped Pulpo achieve a fantastic outcome.”

“We based our selection of Siemer on their extensive sector expertise, reputation, and excellence in deal execution,” said Mark Sugarman, Founding Partner at MHS Capital. “They managed the transaction with a high level of service, professionalism and dedication.”

Pulpo Media’s customer base includes McDonalds, Kellogg’s, Honda, Disney, and Walmart, among others Its leading digital advertising technology platform and unique service offering provides advertisers highly customized segmentation and personalized messaging, empowering brands to more effectively engage online Hispanic, or (i)Hispanic, consumers. These additional capabilities broaden Entravision’s diverse offering of omni-channel advertising solutions and are a significant enhancement to their big data analytics and modeling capabilities.

“Siemer’s expertise in cross-border transactions was critical in bringing this transaction to a successful close,” said Rick Smith, Managing Director of Crosscut Ventures. “The structure of the company required an advisor capable of addressing the nuances and challenges of a business spread across multiple countries. Siemer’s dedication addressing those challenges led to a great result for the company and its investors”.

“Entravision’s acquisition of Pulpo Media is a perfect fit.” said David Siemer, Managing Director of Siemer & Associates. “We believe the addition of Pulpo Media’s technology will seamlessly integrate with Entravision’s network – expanding their reach across digital platforms.”

About Pulpo Media

Pulpo Media is the first holistic ad network that reaches online Hispanics-(i)Hispanics-across all acculturation levels and digital devices. It employs world class proprietary technology and combines its top ranked media offering with hyper-relevant segmentation, authentic (1:1) messaging, and in-depth analytics to drive brand engagement and campaign ROI among the influential (i)Hispanic. Pulpo Media empowers advertisers to more efficiently and effectively secure mind and market share gains across the total Hispanic market.

About Entravision Communications Corporation

Entravision Communications Corporation is a diversified Spanish-language media company utilizing a combination of television, radio and digital operations to reach Latino consumers across the United States and Latin America. Entravision is the largest affiliate group of both the top-ranked Univision television network and Univision’s UniMas network, with television stations in 19 of the nation’s top 50 Latino markets. The company also operates one of the nation’s largest groups of primarily Spanish-language radio stations, consisting of 49 owned and operated radio stations. Additionally, Entravision has a variety of cross-platform digital content and sales offerings designed to capitalize on the company’s ability to reach the Latino community. Entravision shares of Class A Common Stock are traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol: EVC.

About Siemer & Associates LLC

Siemer & Associates LLC is a boutique merchant bank that serves digital media, software and Internet companies throughout their business life cycles. Our investment banking professionals have successfully completed more than 50 transactions that aggregated over $3 billion in sell-side mandates and surpassed $1.5 billion in equity capital. We offer exceptional corporate M&A, capital raising and financial advisory services.

S&A is committed to offering honest advice and guidance based on relevant experience, deep domain knowledge and an understanding of the market. We provide our clients with the insight and perspective necessary to make informed decisions, resulting in an enviable record of client satisfaction and success. Siemer & Associates is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA with offices in London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

S&A’s affiliate, Siemer Ventures, is one of the most active investment funds in Southern California, claiming more than 100 current portfolio companies and making an average of 20 new investments each year.

S&A’s affiliate, WaveMaker Labs, is based in Singapore, and is an “approved technology incubator” under the Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS) of the Singaporean government’s National Research Foundation (NRF).

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Contact:
Siemer & Associates
Sura Hart
(310) 861-2114
sura@siemer.com



LA Business Journal: VCs Catch Wave To Silicon Beach

By OMAR SHAMOUT

1400051966a  t286 LA Business Journal: VCs Catch Wave To Silicon Beach

Rounding Into Shape: Co-founders Zach James and Rich Raddon at Zefr’s office in Venice in a January 2013 photo. Photo by Ringo Chiu.

Monday, May 19, 2014 | Rounding Into Shape: Co-founders Zach James and Rich Raddon at Zefr’s office in Venice in a January 2013 photo.
Rounding Into Shape: Co-founders Zach James and Rich Raddon at Zefr’s office in Venice in a January 2013 photo. Photo by Ringo Chiu.
When online consumer rewards site Swagbucks last week took its first outside investment, a $60 million infusion from Palo Alto’s Technology Crossover Ventures, it was the latest indication that L.A.’s booming tech industry is coming of age.

Not only has the amount of money pouring into local tech firms surpassed sums raised at the same point last year, Silicon Beach is getting far more attention from the top tier of Silicon Valley’s venture capital community.

L.A. information tech companies have raised more than $620 million in roughly 50 deals thus far this year, according to data collected by SoCalTech.com. That’s 78 percent more than the amount raised at the same point last year. And it’s more than any other comparable period since Silicon Beach was more or less established in 2009.

Exits are healthier, too.

Sixteen local tech companies have been acquired or gone public this year, reaping more than $1.7 billion. That number could spike much more if Apple Inc.’s rumored $3.2 billion purchase of Santa Monica’s Beats Electronics goes through. The deal flow does not include some private transaction for which terms were not disclosed.

The activity, particularly the influx of cash from Menlo Park, signals a change from a few years ago, when top Silicon Valley venture capitalists pigeonholed L.A.’s tech founders as entrepreneurs who didn’t think big enough, said Dan Chen, managing director at Siemer & Associates in Santa Monica, a boutique merchant bank serving the tech community.

Venture firms in Silicon Valley expect companies they invest in to make billion-dollar exits, Chen said, and their interest in investing in the L.A. market reflects a growing confidence that their goals can be achieved here.

The momentum started last year, when Silicon Beach companies Snapchat, JustFab, Honest Co. and OpenX had funding rounds led by Bay Area VCs. It has continued this year as anonymous messaging app Whisper and enterprise messaging app developer TigerText raised $30 million and $21 million, respectively, mostly from Silicon Valley investors. In addition, Zefr, co-founded by Zach James and Richard Raddon in 2009, netted $30 million in a February Series D round from four Bay Area firms: Institutional Venture Partners, US Venture Partners, First Round Capital and Shasta Ventures. A London firm, Richmond Park Partners, also joined.

Proving ground

The activity is a reflection of the increasing credibility and viability of businesses being built in the region, said Rod Werner, managing director of City National Bank’s tech and venture capital banking group in Palo Alto.

Read the whole article at LA Business Journal.