With the list of acquirers for startups that help publishers maximize the price of unsold ad inventory seemingly dwindling, PubMatic announced today that it has raised a massive $45 million round of funding.
The new cash will be used to fuel acquisitions and "strengthen the company's balance sheet," the company said in a press release. Pubmatic, along with competitors such as Rubicon Project, create technologies that can help publishers get more money for their digital ad inventory than they would have if they turned it directly over to ad networks or dumped it into big ad exchanges.
The technologies can also aid publishers in setting up so-called private exchanges. Google acquired competitor Admeld last June for $400 million, leaving Pubmatic and Rubicon Project without an obvious acquirer.
AOL seems committed to building out its own ad-tech stack and Yahoo is expected to distance itself from owning ad-tech platforms as decides the fate of Right Media. AppNexus, another competitor in the space, is backed by Microsoft, and many industry execs expect it to either eventually get gobbled up completely by Microsoft or go public.
That leaves PubMatic and its competitors facing the realization that they need to raise more money to fuel acquisitions of their own that may help lead to revenue numbers that can either support an IPO or drum up interest from an unconventional acquirer, such as Adobe, IBM or Amazon. The company was founded in 2006 and has now raised $63 million to date.