Scaling Globally with the Right Investment Partner
Mediaocean leveraged Vista’s operational expertise to reach advertising agencies around the world.
Co-Founder and CEO Bill Wise likes to refer to Mediaocean as a 50-year-old startup. The company was formed in 2012 through the merger of Donovan Data Systems, founded in 1967, and technology startup MediaBank, founded in 2006. Wise and his Executive Chairman Michael Donovan had a bold mission: to create a neutral and universal operating system for advertising technology. They wanted to help the industry overcome some of its biggest challenges, including automation, moving to digital, and audience and data fragmentation.
Today, Mediaocean is the leading software company for the global advertising industry and the only platform that bridges traditional and digital media by integrating ad-tech, data solutions, and supply partners. The company’s products are designed to expedite every aspect of the agency workflow, from planning to payment.
Wise compares his experience leading Mediaocean to running a relay race: he has to know when to pass off the baton so that he can take the company to the next level. When he and his team considered strategic alternatives to grow the business, they initially gravitated toward an IPO, until Wise met with Vista Co-Founder and President, Brian Sheth.
Vista’s vision for Mediaocean included accelerating international growth, driving product innovation, and continuing to invest in its existing solutions. With Vista’s guidance, Wise saw an opportunity to have both a financial and operating partner that would help him run the next leg of the race.
In the first year of their partnership, Vista and Mediaocean covered ground at a speed Wise never predicted. Together, they reorganized the business from a divisional structure to a functional one that would help Mediaocean scale its operations and serve the global market. That year, the company acquired BCC AdSystems, ColSpace, and INVISION to extend its reach into Asia and Australia and augment its product portfolio with more robust and integrated workflow solutions.
Wise attributes much of the company’s success to embracing the Vista Best Practices – insights gained by Vista from working with hundreds of dynamic software companies across industries – and making them an integral part of the culture at Mediaocean. With Vista as a partner, Wise and his team have implemented more effective processes, elevated talent, and gained access to new financial markets. At the same time, they’ve preserved a culture grounded in the company’s core values, such as embracing diversity, giving back to the community, and maintaining the open, neutral architecture of their platforms.
Supported by the mentorship, strategy, and vision of the Vista network from its CEO to its operational experts, Wise is confident that Mediaocean will continue its pace and hold its position ahead of the market.
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When we talked about how to take the company to the next level, I didn’t realize how big of a leap we’d make as fast as we did.
Bill Wise, Co-Founder and CEO, Mediaocean
Year of Investment: 2015
Portfolio Status: Current
Headquarters: New York, NY
Software to manage the media buying lifecycle from planning and buying, to optimization, reconciliation, and reporting across every media channel.
Mediaocean, LLC is the leading provider of advertising software and powers over $100 billion of global media buying. The Company’s solutions automate every aspect of the advertising workflow, from planning and buying to analyzing and optimizing, to invoicing and payments. Mediaocean’s open cross-media platforms have unmatched reach and bridge traditional and digital media, serving more than 80,000 users across advertisers, agencies, broadcasters, and publishers worldwide.
Mediaocean was formed in 2012 through the merger of Donovan Data Systems and MediaBank and is headquartered in New York, NY.
Vista Equity Partners Fund V made an equity investment in Mediaocean in August 2015.