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March 05, 2012

SingTel Acquires Mobile Ad Solution Provider Amobee

By Chris Freeburn, TMCnet Web Editor

With consumers embracing smartphones in growing numbers, the mobile ad market appears poised for significant growth. U.S. mobile ad revenues are expected to hit $2.6 billion this year -- worldwide revenues may reach $7 billion -- leaving carriers and marketers are scrambling to take advantage of the burgeoning market. As competition heats up, companies are looking to boost ad mobile advertisement capacity through acquisition. Asia-based cellular carrier SingTel announced today that it would acquire mobile advertising solution provider Amobee, headquartered in Redwood City, California, for $321 million.



An article on TechCrunch noted that the acquisition would provide a considerable gain for Amobee’s (News - Alert) investors. The company recently raised around $54 million in financial from investors including Accel, Sequoia, Globespan, Vodafone, Cisco, Motorola (News - Alert), Telefonica and Amdocs. The article reported that SingTel valued the company’s net assets at $600,000, meaning that SingTel valued Amobee’s mobile ad space presence at a significant premium.

SingTel (News - Alert) already has mobile advertising operations, including geo-localization services, which target customers for promotional campaigns based on their locations. The carrier has 434 million mobile customers in countries across southwest Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. The Amobee purchase will allow SingTel to combine its current marketing platform with Amobee’s banner and rich-media advertising service. The deal also reinforces SingTel’s beachhead in Silicon Valley. TechCrunch noted that the carrier runs a venture capital investment fund, Innov8, and provided financing to a number of Asia-Pacific companies.

TechCrunch also noted that, under the terms of the deal, Amobee’s entire workforce, CEO Trevor Healy (News - Alert) among them, would become part of SingTel. Less certain is the fate of Amobee’s current customer relationships. Amobee currently serves Google, Barnes & Noble, eBay, Nokia, Skype, and France Telecom (News - Alert). However, the company will be integrated into SingTel’s Digital Life operations, and SingTel has not announced with Amobee’s services will continue to be provided to parties outside the company.

SingTel indicated that it anticipated worldwide mobile ad revenues would more than double to $20 billion by 2015, which is still just a small portion of the overall online advertising market. TechCrunch said that the Amobee acquisition was anticipated to be complete by June 2012.




Edited by Rich Steeves
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