Mobile advertising and discovery platform InMobi has acquired Los Angeles-based startup AerServ, an inventory and audience monetisation technology platform for mobile publishers, for $90 million in a cash and stock deal.
This is the biggest acquisition by the Softbank-backed company, which aims to create header bidding solution for apps.
Header bidding is an advanced programmatic technique wherein publishers offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before making calls to their ad servers.
Besides, the acquisition is expected to help InMobi increase monetisation by 25-30 per cent from its existing set of clients, besides helping secure new clients.
“The acquisition will enhance monetisation for publishers globally and increase InMobi’s offerings through the creation of InMobi Exchange, a platform with a unified programmatic auction for mobile in app publishers,” said InMobi CEO Naveen Tewari.
Programmatic selling refers to the automation in mobile advertising space. It is the combination of technology and processes that enable publishers and marketers to drive revenue using real-time channels and machine-driven methods.
“This acquisition gives us the capability to use programmatic video, when we have used normal video till now. It gives publishers a lot more options in terms of flexibility and scalability,” said Tewari.
InMobi also aims AerServ to help bolster its mobile video ad offering, especially in APAC, where the opportunity is ripe. More than 30 per cent of InMobi’s business in China is programmatic at a $300 million annual run rate. The two fastest-growing units are video and native.
Besides, InMobi is already in the midst of consolidating its software development kits (SDK) with AerServ’s SDK, and it plans to have a fully merged product on the market by the end of Q1 or early Q2.
AerServ’s SDK is integrated with 2,000 mostly US-based publishers, which overlap by about 50 per cent with InMobi’s publisher base.