Providence Equity Partners Buying A Majority Stake In Smartly.io

By Amit Chowdhry ● Dec 19, 2019
  • Providence Equity Partners announced it has acquired a majority stake in Helsinki-based Smartly.io. The terms were undisclosed, but it was reportedly at €200 million.

Helsinki-based Smartly.io is a company that enables ad companies to automate campaigns on social media platforms, which has just sold a majority stake to Providence Equity Partners for a reported €200 million (slightly more than $220 million).

Launched in 2013, Smartly.io is also able to automate the ad production and ad buying process. Currently, Smartly.io has over 350 employees across 16 offices and it is estimated that it will see €2.5 billion in ad spending go through its platform this year from brands like eBay, Under Armour, Samsonite, and Uber.

Some of Smartly.io investors include Lifeline Ventures and Highline Europe.

“By partnering with Providence, Smartly.io gains invaluable strategic advisory, deep operational experience, and market insight, especially in the U.S. where major Fortune 500 companies are only starting to automate their creative processes,” said Smartly.io founder and CEO Kristo Ovaska.

As part of the deal, Smartly.io founders Ovaska and Chief Product Officer Tuomo Riekki are going to keep “significant ownership,” and will continue leading the company. And Providence Operating Partner Laura Desmond will become chairperson of the board of directors.

“Smartly.io is uniquely positioned to play a lead role in a market where brand and performance work is converging,” added Desmond. “Together, we intend to grow the Company’s presence in the U.S. and globally, expand to other platforms, and build relationships with brands and their partners to create value for all.”