By Scott Wright

CALUM Smeaton, the founder of Edinburgh-based TVSquared has declared that building the business has been “the honour of my professional life” after its sale to a US firm for $160 million (£118m) was announced yesterday.

TVSquared, which allows companies to measure the impact of their television advertising, has been sold to Innovid, a New York-listed advertising delivery and management platform.

The sale is likely to have netted significant windfalls for Mr Smeaton, who founded the business in 2012, and other high-profile investors. These include Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital vehicle, which had been the largest shareholder in TVSquared with a stake of around 30 per cent.

Other major investors included Scottish gaming entrepreneurs Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns, of 4J Studios and Chroma Ventures, and Scottish Enterprise. Mr van der Kuyl was the chairman of TVSquared.

Mr Smeaton declined to comment on the financial details of the sale. Asked to sum up his over-riding emotions following the deal, he told The Herald: “Being the CEO of TVSquared has been the honour of my professional life. Over the last 10 years, starting from my kitchen in Edinburgh and growing into a global brand, TVSquared defined the cross-platform TV measurement space. Today, I am filled with joy and, more than that, pride in the team we’ve built across four continents. They are innovators, they are disruptors and they are relentless in the belief that the technology we’ve built can change the global TV advertising industry – and it has.”

The deal for TVSquared consists of $100m in cash, as well as “additional stock consideration”. It comes as the company expects to book revenue of $20m to $22m for its 2021 financial year.

Mr Smeaton said the Edinburgh base, where it has 70 employees, “will remain as a hub for Innovid”.

TVSquared has about 150 staff in total,with offices in US cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Detroit and Florida, as well as London, Munich, Sydney and Tokyo. Mr Smeaton will step down as chief executive on completion of the deal, after which he will take on a strategic role to support the integration. Jo Kinsella, president of TVSquared, will join the Innovid executive team. Mr Smeaton said: “Innovid and TVSquared share complementary visions to transform TV measurement through a comprehensive view of audiences across all devices and platforms worldwide.

“Joining forces establishes a cross-platform measurement solution that maps one of the largest datasets of audiences, homes, and devices, at scale, across linear, CTV, and digital video.”

Zvika Netter, chief executive and co-founder of Innovid, said: “In acquiring TVSquared, we aim to provide the most complete view of the total TV and digital universe through a scalable, currency-grade measurement platform.

“Additionally, we immediately accelerate and broaden our scope globally, as brands, agencies, publishers, and broadcasters on six continents rely on TVSquared to maximise reach, identify the right audiences and drive business growth with TV. As the market demands greater accountability, Innovid and TVSquared are reimagining the future of cross-platform TV measurement together.”