Tune confirmed that it has sold its Attribution Analytics business, which measures the effectiveness of digital ad campaigns, to mobile marketing company Branch, in a deal that includes nearly a third of Tune’s employees.
As part of the deal, approximately 70 Tune employees will join Branch, and the company will open a Seattle office “effectively right next door” to Tune, Branch CEO Alex Austin told GeekWire in an interview. Branch plans to plug the Attribution Analytics product right into its broader platform, meaning customers shouldn’t see much change.
“We’re doing an immense amount of work on our side, so that customers basically have to do nothing,” Austin said. “The only thing that should change with them is the T-shirt of the person they interact with on a regular basis. It’s the same face, same feature set, same capabilities.”
Following the deal, Tune’s headcount will have declined 45 percent from approximately a year ago. The company reported 320 employees last September, and it will have 175 people, the majority in Seattle, following the deal.
Tune will use proceeds from the sale to bolster HasOffers, its flagship marketing software, Tune CEO Peter Hamilton said. The company started under the name HasOffers when it was founded by twin brothers Lucas and Lee Brown in 2009 before rebranding in 2014.
Going forward, the two companies will work together in what Hamilton called an “industry-changing relationship.” While the companies are working to make sure the experience doesn’t change for Tune customers, users will notice some deeper insights on their Facebook campaigns.
Branch is one of only a few only Facebook mobile measurement partners in the U.S., which gives them a greater window into how campaigns on the social giant are doing. Tune used to be a part of the program but was booted after Facebook said it held on to data for too long and failed to notify users about its data collection policies.
Four-year-old Branch only recently got into the mobile attribution game. Its early expertise was deep links, which go directly to a page within an app, instead of just the homepage, and can be used as a measurement mechanism.
Austin said Tune’s team and product fit like a puzzle piece into Branch’s broader organization.
“All the places we were just beginning to invest in, they already had established teams and customer base and the whole gambit,” Austin said.
Tune is No. 19 on the GeekWire 200 — our ranking of privately-held Pacific Northwest tech startups. Total funding to date is $36.4 million, and its last round came in January 2015 when it reeled in a $27 million led by Icon Ventures. It made its fifth acquisition in January, swooping up marketing automation startup Optimob.
Tune has undergone multiple lay-off rounds and reorganizations that included the departure of key executives in recent months. Tune, which helps customers like Expedia, The New York Times and Baidu understand what users are doing inside of apps, said earlier this year it returned to profitability after a round of layoffs a year ago that were done in part to fix its bottom line.