District M merges with U.S. ad exchange Sharethrough

The merger will give District M access to native ad tools its CEO believes will help it become a top independent exchange.

Programmatic ad exchange District M has merged with San Francisco-based exchange company Sharethrough, as it aims to scale its business and collectively become a top-five independent omnichannel exchange.

Announced Tuesday, the merger sees District M gaining access to Sharethrough’s enhanced video and native products – considered to be Sharethrough’s strengths. For Sharethrough, it will get access to District M’s publisher monetization tools, for formats such as standard display and rich media, as well as web and in-app display. Sharethrough will also get to leverage District M’s Canadian publisher connections, with companies such as The Globe and Mail, Postmedia and La Presse.

The combined company (which is yet to be named) will effectively grow District M’s network of advertisers by between 40% to 50%, and its publisher base increase by roughly 65%. District M’s 70 staff in Toronto, Montreal and New York will be joining approximately 70 Sharethrough staff between five U.S. offices – bringing the total to 140 employees among eight offices for the new company.

“District M and Sharethrough will double down the scale we have,” says JF Cote, president and CEO of District M. “People want to work with companies that have scale, that can work with them on both small and large programs.”

Cote says this merger ladders up to District M’s goal of becoming, in conjunction with Sharethrough, a top independent omnichannel exchange. He adds that while this merger will give it access to more U.S. publishers, it is more about the Sharethrough products that District M will gain access to.

“This company is a leader in native advertising and video [advertising products],” Cote says, adding that Sharethrough was the first company to launch a native ad exchange in 2008.

Sharethrough has an enhanced native ad tool that matches ads with the ideal surrounding content. It also offers custom headline and thumbnail variations to drive message comprehension. The tool, the company claims, delivers 308 times more time spent than banners, with a 10 time higher clickthrough rate.

Sharethrough’s native, video and connected TV products round out District M’s offering, which has been more about display and mobile ads. “We are [now] able to provide an omnichannel offer,” Cote says. “We’ll be able to unify these five formats, in a suite of products, and be able to talk with advertisers with a truly unified chain of value.”

Citing confidentiality reasons, Cote would not disclose the value of the merger, but its recent $19 million series C funding is largely being invested in the combined company growth plan.