By Andy Blye
February 10, 2021
Digital Air Strike, a marketing technology firm based in Scottsdale, has finalized two acquisitions in a move that will round out its service offering for its customers in the automotive space.
First, the company acquired LotVantage, a software company that helps dealers list auto, RV and marine inventory on websites such as Craigslist, eBay and Facebook.
The second acquisition is of BestRide.com, an online car marketplace previously owned by Gannett Co. Inc., the media company that owns the Arizona Republic and USA Today.
These two acquisitions complement the existing services offered by Digital Air Strike including social media marketing, mobile apps, AI text messaging and other tools to manage consumer interactions. The company primarily works with auto manufacturers and dealerships to target potential end-consumers and increase sales.
In an interview, Alexi Venneri, Digital Air Strike’s co-founder and CEO, said these acquisitions help to expand the company’s ability to get tailored messages to people no matter where they are.
“We can connect the consumer really anywhere, to a retailer anywhere,” she said. “We don’t think of ourselves as an agency. We’re a technology company because it is all about, ‘How do we automate and make sure that there’s real time information paired with data?’ So real-time inventory for the end retailer paired with data around the consumer, to make those messages as relevant as possible.”
With these two deals locked in, Digital Air Strike has now participated in six mergers or acquisitions since the company launched in 2010. This is not the first time the company has done a double acquisition; in 2019 it announced that it had bought two technology companies.
Behind the deal
Venneri said Digital Air Strike has been vocal about seeking M&A opportunities in the automotive industry for the past three years.
For Tampa Bay, Florida-based LotVantage it came down to good timing, and CEO Matthew Brown was looking for a good home for his team.
“LotVantage’s focus on industry partnerships and innovative inventory distribution is a logical fit for Digital Air Strike’s existing offerings. The combining of solutions will offer dealers even more opportunity to increase awareness and drive more sales for their dealerships,” Brown said in a written statement.
The purchase of LotVantage fits in well with Digital Air Strike’s OTT video advertising service from Amazon. OTT ads (which stands for over-the-top) are delivered over the internet during video streaming and cannot be skipped. By working with Amazon, Digital Air Strike and its customers are able to send hyper-targeted ads to customers on more than 85 different streaming networks.
And with the addition of LotVantage software, these ads can show specific vehicles for sale with up-to-date pricing.
“When our advertising is inventory specific, we’ve now, at Digital Air Strike, learned something about the consumer,” Venneri said. “So, when we work with a retailer, we’re going to send you similar types of vehicles or similar price points because we have that information, so we’re able to nurture it.”
Digital Air Strike had worked with and known Gannett for some time. They’d been in conversation about BestRide.com for over a year before both companies decided it was best to sell the website which is connected with the classified sections for The Boston Globe, The Detroit Free Press and over 200 other media platforms.
“There’s a lot we can do with it,” she said. “It’s a solid foundation. And now we’re able to, with our expertise, really, I think tailor it to consumers.”
For Digital Air Strike, which has previously only worked in the B2B world, the purchase of BestRide.com is the company’s first foray into consumer-facing services.
As a result of these two acquisitions, a Digital Air Strike customer will be able to advertise a specific vehicle on Facebook, eBay, BestRide.com and streaming platforms like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video all at once.
“We’re very focused on getting your inventory seen, so you can move that inventory,” she said. “We really are dually focused on how do we get the right messages to the right consumers in a way that they see value, and then nurture the communications so they work with our business clients.”
Venneri said that even though the Digital Air Strike family of companies now has employees in Tampa, Burbank, and San Jose, she’s proud that the company is headquartered in Scottsdale. Her only concern, she said jokingly, is that the secret will get out about all the great things that come with being based in Arizona.
Read all of Digital Air Strike’s announcements here.