Paris-based advertising and marketing technology provider Criteo plans to acquire an e-commerce advertising platform for $250 million, the company announced today.

Criteo's acquisition of New York City-based HookLogic will help Criteo users connect retail e-commerce sites with brands via sponsored product ads, company officials said. Criteo's ad-producing predictive bidding and product recommendations will integrate into the HookLogic's exchange of e-commerce sites. 

The deal is subject to shareholder and other approvals and is expected to close next February, according to a Criteo filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“With HookLogic’s acquisition, Criteo is adding a complementary performance marketing solution to its portfolio, focusing on delivering more value to brand manufacturers and retailers alike,” Eric Eichmann, CEO of Criteo, said in a statement. 

Eric Eichmann

$500 Billion Opportunity

The acquisition marks another big investment in e-commerce. 

Salesforce dropped $2.8 billion into e-commerce platform Demandware in June in a move designed to complement its existing customer experience suite, which includes CRM and marketing automation. Salesforce also wants to keep up with the SAP Hybris e-commerce platform — though SAP thinks they're not quite there yet

Criteo's not quite ready to play with those big boys, at least in terms of yearly revenue. According to financial reports, publicly-traded Criteo closed the fiscal 2015 with $1.3 billion in revenue. SAP's latest yearly revenue report was $23.7 billion, and Salesforce's $6.7 billion.

Still, there's plenty of pie to go around in e-commerce. Forrester Research predicts online retail sales will reach more than $500 billion by 2020, up from $373 billion in 2016. Web merchants are getting better with the technology, according to Forrester, which also cited more omnichannel efforts, an improved US economy and more growth from Amazon

The ad technology space itself is pretty hot, too. Just look at Google's $750 million dollar acquisition of AdMob in 2010 and Twitter's $350 million dollar acquisition of MoPub in 2013. And in August, a Chinese consortium of investors acquired ad tech startup for $900 million in cash.

Learning Opportunities

And Salesforce just this week announced it entered into a definitive agreement to buy Krux, a San Francisco-based data management platform (DMP) provider, for cash and stock totaling between $680 million and $683.5 million.

Sales Attribution Data

HookLogic’s ads inside of e-commerce sites link manufacturer marketing spend directly to retail sales, according to company officials.

Brands get sales attribution data on e-commerce sites through HookLogic's platform and ultimately want to drive web traffic to their e-commerce sites. HookLogic's platform weaves native product ads into e-commerce sites and apps.

Jonathan Opdyke

HookLogic was formed in 2004 as Think Drive, Inc. Jonathan Opdyke (pictured, right) is CEO of HookLogic. Opdyke was a founder and remained with HookLogic for the next 12 years. Before that, he served as a global web strategy manager at Xerox for four years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Last December, Criteo announced that JB Rudelle, its founder, chairman and CEO, moved to the role of executive chairman. 

Eichmann, then president and COO, was promoted as the company’s new CEO, effective Jan. 1. Eichmann held chief operating officer roles at LivingSocial and Rosetta Stone prior to his Criteo role, according to his LinkedIn profile.