Yahoo Buys Online Ad Startup 5to1 For $28 Million

Yahoo

Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is paying $28 million for 5to1, an online ad marketplace that lets top brand advertisers purchase unsold premium inventory on the sites of 20 major publishers. In its announcement, Yahoo says the purchase will allow it to increase the premium inventory it can offer advertisers.

5to1 has ties to Ross Levinsohn, the former News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). executive who joined Yahoo as Yahoo Americas EVP in October. The company was started by several Fox Interactive Media executives and had also raised funding from Fuse Capital, the investment firm Levinsohn founded when he left News Corp.

As recently as last November, Levinsohn was listed as the company’s chairman. (Yahoo does not note the link to Levinsohn in its announcement but a spokeswoman tells us Levinsohn left his position at 5to1 when he joined Yahoo and divested his shares then too).

Yahoo’s announcement is short on details on how it will integrate 5to1’s marketplace, but the company says 5to1’s staff will join its ad marketplaces group. The team includes CEO James Heckman, who sold another company he founded — Rivals.com — to Yahoo for $100 million four years ago.

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