Press release

Performance Marketer Ligatus takes over veeseo GmbH thus forming Europe’s largest supplier for Content Recommendations

With the acquisition of veeseo Ligatus enters the promising growth market of Content Recommendations. The combined assets of the two companies create significant competitive advantages in terms of know-how, technology, market access and reach. Publishers and marketers thus get access to excellent editorially recommendation technology and monetization from a single source.

Cologne, June 12th 2014 – Retroactive to 01/04/2014 the Ligatus GmbH, belonging to Gruner + Jahr assumes 100 percent of veeseo GmbH thus securing a pole position to sustainably benefit from the online marketing field Content Recommendations. By using the veeseo recommendation technology in the high-reach Ligatus premium network with more than 1,100 publishers across Europe, the two companies together form the largest supplier of Content Recommendations in Europe.

The acquisition pursues Ligatus' strategic objective to enable publishers and marketers with intelligent technologies for an optimum monetization of websites. The development of the growth area of Content Recommendation pays on G+J's digital strategy, of which an integral part is to sustainably strengthen the digital advertising unit at G+J to which Ligatus contributes significantly.

Ligatus and veeseo already work together exclusively and successfully since the end of 2013. Besides important publishers in the German market, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and France have already been convinced of the Content Recommendation business model. Other countries will follow shortly. Premium publishers like SPIEGEL ONLINE, DIE WELT Online, RTL Online are already using the recommendation system.

veeseo was founded in February 2010 by Jan Andresen and generates Content Recommendations for publishers. veeseo performs a semantic content analysis and than recommends matching content for an article or video. This editorial approach ensures a unique quality of the generated recommendations. Another unique feature of veeseo is the proprietary speech-to-text technology, with which language in video content can be read, so moving image content can be matched and recommended accordingly. In addition, veeseo is currently the only provider that generates relevant Content Recommendations without the use of cookies or sensitive user data. Furthermore veeseo provides unique services and tools such as in the field of traffic management, which facilitate the work of the editorial teams thanks to intelligent technologies and add value for the user.

The business model standing behind the Content Recommendations is attractive for both, publishers and their marketers: The high-quality article and video recommendations generate high click-through rates on the internal Publisher recommendations and thus increase the page views and time users spend on the website. This increased traffic in return generates additional marketable reach for the core business of the marketer and can also be targeted to the best sections to be marketed, such as moving image environments. Furthermore, the publishers will benefit from direct advertising revenues through ad sales within the Content Recommendation boxes, where they can display and optimize image-text-advertisements by using the performance technology of Ligatus and place content marketing in order to participate in this fast growing market segment. More and more advertisers take advantage of this opportunity to context-sensitive communication, wherefore the quality Ligatus network ensures the necessary context relevance.

The veeseo GmbH will continue to operate as an independent company with the two directors Jan Andresen und Steven Hofman at the company headquarter in Hamburg. Structurally, the company is integrated in Ligatus under the leadership of Klaus Ludemann.

Klaus Ludemann, speaker of the management Ligatus GmbH: "Through the acquisition, we can use the synergies between Ligatus and veeseo to an even greater extent than before and we have the ideal conditions for a sustainable development of the Content Recommendation potential. At the same time Ligatus can significantly strengthen its competitive position in the field of special advertising space in the editorial environment. To connect the veeseo technology with our premium reach and our access to international markets enables us to create unique competitive advantages, which will be reflected in a higher monetization for publishers. Amongst others, the semantics recognition of veeseo will be used in future in the context of Ligatus' optimization technology to enable an even more targeted advertising placement. And last but not least, with the acquisition of veeseo we are expanding our position as one of Europe's leading performance marketers consistently."

Jan Andresen, CEO veeseo GmbH: "The established structures of Ligatus give veeseo access to an international publisher network and customer relationships throughout Europe. By the interaction of our technologies, valuable synergy effects will be achieved and thus new standards in the Content Recommendations field will be set, so that we can achieve above-average growth in the coming years. At the same time, the market position of Ligatus offers the ideal conditions for an international scaling of the veeseo business model, that is: we can roll out our technology in a timely manner in the major European markets."

Arne Wolter, Deputy Chief Sales Officer and Deputy Chief Digital Officer at G+J: "Digital marketing is a key strategic growth area for G+J. With the acquisition of veeseo G+J enters the highly attractive segment of Content Recommendations which means additional national and international growth opportunities, while at the same time increasing the viability and value of Ligatus as an important part of the digital advertising unit at G+J. With its unique Content Recommendations technology, its quality and the resulting revenue potential veeseo fits well with G+J's digital strategy."

Graphical material
The following photographs can be provided as high-resolution files:

Press contact:

Carola Holtermann
Market Communication Ligatus
c/o Holtermann.CC
Phone: +49 (0) 40 / 328 714 13