Telenor is set to acquire a digital advertising start-up as it looks to add marketing technology to its capabilities.

The Norway-based operator will spend $360 million for 95 percent of Tapad, which offers cross-device marketing technology solutions to publishers, marketers and technology providers.

The New York-based company, which was established in 2010, assimilates data points from different devices and platforms to enable its customers to recognise, measure and monetise their audiences.

Telenor said Tapad is a market leader in the US and has designs to expand its use across its emerging market footprint.

The digital advertising market is “sizeable and fast-growing”, according to the operator, which cited research estimating the global market is worth $160 billion.

Tapad made an EBITDA loss of $12 million on revenues of around $57 million last year.

Telenor said it expects sales to increase to around $90 million and for the company’s earnings to break-even in 2017.

[Read more: Operators need to rethink how they ask customers to pay for digital services]

Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke said: "With the acquisition of Tapad, Telenor Group is taking a position within the rapidly growing market for advertising technology, and securing important competence within digital marketing and analytics.

“I believe significant value can be created from applying marketing technology to improve the digital capabilities of our core telecom business.

“This will improve our understanding of customer behaviour, and supports building a platform for other business areas.”

Are Traasdahl, CEO of Tapad, will retain five percent ownership alongside fellow co-founder Dag Liodden.

He said: “I am excited by what this acquisition means for our employees, our partners and our continued growth.

“This will accelerate our vision to become the world's leading provider of unified digital marketing solutions.”

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