Facebook has bought video ad tech company LiveRail

Facebook (S FB) has struck a deal to acquire San Francisco-based video ad tech company LiveRail for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition could help Facebook to expand video advertising on its own platform by offering publisher better tools to buy and target ads, but it will also give the company an entry into the video ad business across the web: LiveRail’s customers include publishers like ABC Family, (S DIS) MLB.com and CBS Interactive (S CBS).

Facebook’s Vice President of Ads Product Marketing Brian Boland announced the acquisition with a blog post, which read in part:

“We believe that LiveRail, Facebook and the premium publishers it serves have an opportunity to make video ads better and more relevant for the hundreds of millions of people who watch digital video every month. More relevant ads will be more interesting and engaging to people watching online video, and more effective for marketers too. Publishers will benefit as well because more relevant ads will help them make the most out of every opportunity they have to show an ad.”

LiveRail was founded seven years ago, and now has 170 employees across four offices, according to a post by its CEO and co-founder¬†Mark Trefgarne, who also wrote Wednesday that his company is now delivering more that seven billion video ads every month. A key part of LiveRail’s business is a real-time bidding platform for ad inventory. Adding Facebook into the mix could help LiveRail to further personalize advertising.

The company has raised a total of $12 million, and there was talk that it was looking to go public by the end of this year. However, video advertising IPOs haven’t exactly been a success story: Yume, (S YUME) which went public a year ago with a $9 share price, now trades for $5.79; competitor Tremor Video (S TRMR) is even down to $4.58, half of its IPO share price of $9 a little over a year ago.

This post was updated at 2:10pm with additional¬†information on LiveRail’s customers.