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Even in a Pandemic, we see funding & M&A activity. As discussed in a recent M&A roundtable, some businesses are actually gaining increased levels of customer engagement and monetization. Those businesses clearly align with “new-normal” dynamics like digital communications and e-commerce.

The latest “good news in bad times,” that demonstrates investment and growth is TapClicks’ acquisition of AdStage last week. As background, TapClicks provides a digital marketing dashboard that seeks to federate all the best-of-breed silos that typically make up a given brands’ mar-tech picture.

So if you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, WordPress or any other unique combination of online platforms, TapClicks claims to bring the analytics, management and decision-making together in one place. It also has ad-buying capability so marketers can incorporate paid ad strategies into the mix.

“TapClicks’ goal is to build a single, unified platform for marketing operations that includes industry-leading capabilities for analytics, intelligence, reporting, workflow and order management, TapClicks CEO Babak Hedayati told Localogy Insider. “We’re using advanced AI and machine learning to build predictive solutions that are completely unique in the marketing space.”

The bigger question is what does it gain from AdStage? The short answer is better integration. AdStage likewise federates marketing data across several channels to eliminate headaches and gain a better holistic view of performance. This also provides TapClicks with more integration on the paid ads side.

“Acquiring AdStage allowed us to integrate its intelligence solutions into our current offerings, creating an instant benefit for our customers, while its technology becomes part of TapClicks’ fabric of innovation that will support our next-gen platform,” Hedayati said. “We’re also extremely fortunate to have the majority of AdStage’s team joining TapClicks.”

That team specifically includes AdStage co-founder and CEO Sahil Jain, who will oversee the marketing intelligence platform development, according to Hedayati. Offers have been made for the rest of the TapClicks team to join TapClicks, including co-founder Jason Wu who will be VP of engineering

AdStage first launched in 2013 as a cross-network ad-tech startup that grew into more of an automation and consolidation tool over time. It has raised just over $15 million in funding to date from Verizon Ventures, Freestyle Capital, 500Startups, Digital Garage and (logically) HubSpot.

For TapClicks, this deal meanwhile represents the latest in a string of acquisitions, including Megalytic, iSpionage and StatX.  The AdStage acquisition (undisclosed price) is similarly driven by product and team-building, but could also benefit from consolidation dynamics that we’ll continue to see in a downturn.

That will happen as ad dollars retract from the entire digital advertising value chain. Pooling resources makes sense under such conditions as Adtech players can offer more, and gain economies of scale. Meanwhile, advertisers themselves will be looking to streamline, making products like TapClicks more attractive.

We’ll watch closely to see where it goes next.

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