Adknowledge acquires affiliate network Hydra Group

Ad network Adknowledge has acquired the Hydra Group, an affiliate network, effective June 16. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition, announced June 21, is the third for Adknowledge in the past 16 months. It bought the media division of Miva in March 2009 and acquired Super Rewards, a virtual currency platform for online games, last July.

“The Miva acquisition was to deepen our network in the display space and the Super Rewards acquisition deepened our network in the social space,” said Scott Lyons, Adknowledge’s CEO. “We acquired Hydra to expand into the affiliate community.”

He added that the company’s goal is to offer small website owners access to sites not operated by Google, Yahoo and MSN ad networks.

“Spending with [Google, Yahoo and MSN] gives site owners access to 65% of the Internet marketplace, and the other 35% is addressed by 2,000 other companies,” said Lyons. “We syndicate owners across the Internet where the big three don’t operate in an effort to expand distribution for the advertiser marketplace.”

Hydra’s 40 employees increased Adknowledge’s total workforce to about 300, Lyons said. Hydra staffers will eventually move from their Beverly Hills, CA offices to Adknowledge’s Santa Monica, CA location.

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