The operator group acquired the stake in the OTM platform and will roll out AdTech across its nine markets, starting with Russia.
VEON acquired a majority stake in OTM, a Russian technology platform for the automation and planning of online advertising purchases. Financial details were not disclosed.
Kaan Terzioğlu, VEON’s CEO said, “The digital advertising market in Russia is forecasted to grow from $4 billion to $6 billion in five years and VEON plans to be part of this market expansion.”
It says the investment in OTM will strengthen the positition of Beeline, its Russian opco, in the AdTech market and enable VEON to expand OTM’s operations into other markets served by VEON’s mobile operators.
It also states that the acquisition is part of VEON’s ongoing transformation into a digital operator. VEON serves 212 million customers across nine markets in the Middle East and Asia.
OTM is one of the largest independent AdTech players in Russia, in terms of revenue and in the volume of online ad inventories managed by its platforms.
Since its inception in 2010, the OTM platform has become one of the largest players in the Russian AdTech market, partnering with nearly all major ad agencies and offering a full stack of award-winning programmatic products.
As part of the VEON Group, OTM will remain a separate operating company managed by its current management team.
Terzioğlu added, “AdTech is an important area of growth in all online communities, and is critical to the future of mobile services.
“This transaction will boost AdTech services provided by Beeline Russia, as well as providing a platform for VEON’s expansion into this fast-growing market through our other digital operators.
George Held, EVP for Digital and New Business Development, Beeline Russia, added, “Providing AdTech services is a strategic focus for VEON, where its use alongside Big Data and AI technologies can make a significant contribution to the development of the market and offer unique products for ad agencies and advertisers.
“The acquisition of the majority stake in OTM, a major player in the AdTech market, provides VEON with the competencies of a highly experienced team, as well as strong relationships with ad agencies and advertisers.
“The timing of this acquisition is critical as the entire industry is moving into a scenario where cookies are not used and combined efforts of mobile operators and AdTech companies will propel businesses to new horizons.”