Aleph Holding acquires Middle Eastern digital advertising company Connect Ads

Aleph Holding, a Miami-headquartered digital media company has acquired an 86 percent stake in Egyptian advertising platform Connect Ads, it announced in a statement today, saying that the deal is comprised of cash and stock. The statement did not share the exact financial details but termed it as a dragon exit for A15, the investment firm that started and owned Connect Ads. What this means is that Connect Ads returned the entire fund for A15. The acquisition announcement comes just two days after Aleph raised $470 million from private equity firm CVC at a valuation of $2 billion.

According to its website, Aleph is the largest global partner of the biggest digital platforms in the world, including Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many others. It provides these platforms access to new geographies and under-served markets through its complementary suite of digital media service companies which include Httpool, Internet Media Services, Wise.Blue, Social Snack and AdDynamo, notes its website. In plain English, Aleph helps brands and businesses advertise on the digital platform partners using its services and tools.

With the acquisition of Connect Ads, Aleph is now entering MENA and increases its presence to over 90 markets in the world. It was previously present in the USA, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, serving more than 20 partners and over 5,000 clients. In a statement, Aleph said that it on track to generate $1 billion in sales in 2021.

Started in 2001, Connect Ads has helped technology companies like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and many others kickstart and develop their digital advertising business in the Middle East & North Africa. In the early 2000s, it used to be a partner of services like Hotmail and MSN Messenger. The services of the company that serves media owners and advertisers include ad operations, monetization strategies, programmatic advertising, performance advertising, media planning and buying, and strategy and consultancy.

Gastón Taratuta, Founder & CEO of Aleph Holding, commenting on the occasion, said, “There is huge value in expanding throughout MENA, both to serve our current partners and clients and to expand on existing relationships in other parts of the world. We have been following Connect Ads’ growth and geographical expansion over the last five years and I am excited to welcome them to the Aleph family and we will work together with Connect Ads and A15 to make this a successful partnership.”

Mohamed El Mehairy, CEO of Connect Ads, said, “We see this as a giant leap in the right direction for Connect Ads and all our stakeholders including our teams, partners, and clients. Being a part of Aleph, this truly global structure will give us more leverage in managing our business as well as global exposure and potential that goes far beyond MENA and EMEA. The numerous synergies and shared vision make this a very exciting time for us. The enhanced accessibility that this entails will enable us to grow faster and bigger than ever before.”

Karim Beshara, General Partner of A15, said, “A15 is happy with the phenomenal results, value and growth that Connect Ads created over the years; it validates A15’s venture building strategy in creating outliers. This is A15’s second dragon exit from fund I, and our third major exit overall. A15 is looking forward to continuing this journey with Aleph and Connect Ads and contributing to a global digital powerhouse. We are excited about the growth opportunities and potential returns this deal will bring in the future.”

Their first dragon exit was Tpay.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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