News Corp’s £58m Unruly acquisition shows ‘high caliber’ of UK tech scene

Unruly will continue to run as a separate company from Shoreditch, but will report to Rebekah Brooks, who was recently appointed chief executive of News UK.

“Being part a larger, passionate, purposeful team really excites us,” Sarah Wood co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Unruly told WIRED. “The culture fit felt really strong. The team is so passionate and so high caliber that we honestly felt that we’d enjoy working together enormously.”

“We’re a great example of how UK tech companies can startup and scale up and sell their businesses here in the UK,” said Wood. “It shows that the next generation of tech city entrepreneurs that they don’t need to be in Silicon Valley to achieve multi-million valuations.”

Launched in 2006, Unruly claims to have amassed a combined two trillion views and a regular audience of 1.36 billion. Its software can be used to predict the virality of a video and provide mobile video ad formats for news pages and social feeds. Previous clients include Dove, T-Mobile, Evian and Renault.

“Sometimes a strategic partner comes along where the fit is just so strong and the shared vision is just so strong that it feels like the right thing to do,” said Wood. “We felt that the combination that our cutting edge technology and News Corp’s top quality content and premium media was really going to help us live out on our mission and deliver our values and our vision.”

In a statement News UK chief executive Rebekah Brooks said the company was looking forward to working with “one of Europe’s most highly regarded tech teams”.

News Corp plans to sell Unruly’s services to its advertising partners in the coming months. This latest addition follows the acquisitions of Storyful and the Rubicon Project.

“Unruly complements our traditional editorial and commercial expertise with contemporary insight into how people read, watch, buy and sell in the digital era,” said Robert Thompson, chief executive of News UK parent company News Corp.