Engagement firm Insticator acquires OKO to help publishers thrive

Within six months, the two firms will create a unified platform where publishers can generate revenue, collect user data, and more.

Engagement firm Insticator acquires OKO to help publishers thrive

Last week, American publisher engagement startup Insticator announced that it had acquired UK-based ad management agency OKO for an undisclosed amount. With this move, Insticator aims to help publishers generate revenue beyond just video ads, as OKO offers monetization from other inventories like banners and in-app ads.

According to a statement, both providers will create a unified platform where publishers can generate revenue, collect user data, and make use of analytical reports. This platform is poised to be fully integrated within six months.

Both Insticator and OKO serve the same target market: publishers. This deal will enable Insticator to upsell its services to OKO’s current customers.

What are Insticator and OKO?

Launched in 2012, Insticator provides a set of engagement tools for publishers, including things like trivia, polls, and email signup forms. The business now also offers a commenting function for publishers, thanks to its acquisition of commenting platform Squawk-IT back in January 2020.

The startup also offers a plug-and-play monetization solution, allowing media outlets to earn money with video ads. Insticator’s competitors include Apester and Riddle who also offer interactive engagement tools for businesses.

Founded in 1997, OKO positions itself as an end-to-end ad monetization service provider for publishers. Service-wise, it divides ad solutions into four branches: website monetization, app monetization, header bidding management, and Google Ad Exchange (AdX).

OKO competes with other ad networks such as Adsterra and Smaato.

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What are they saying about this deal?

“With the end of cookies in sight, publishers are seeking new, effective ways to better understand their audiences. Combining forces with OKO allows us to provide them with a single place to acquire, consolidate, and analyze the full breadth of their engagement and monetization data,” said Insticator Founder and CEO Zack Dugow.

“Publisher monetization is consistently evolving and we are very excited to join forces and navigate those changes with a company like Insticator,” said Mat Bennett, OKO Founder and CEO.

How big are Insticator and OKO?

While OKO doesn’t have much in terms of a publicly available pedigree, Insticator has raised a total of US$10.1 million in funding to date. The company’s clients include large media outlets like The Washington Post and Mom.com, and the firm has received multiple forms of recognition. These include being named as one of Adweek’s fastest growing solutions in 2020 and being listed on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

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