SingTel Corp has acquired
mobile ad network a "provider of mobile advertising solutions to operators, publishers and advertisers" (according to the company), Amobee, For $321 million. Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and others had put $54 million in the company. According to Globes Online:
"SingTel said that it will not greatly change Amobee's operations, and that it will operate as an independent unit under its current management. 'SingTel will partner Amobee to build a strong independent company that will serve operators, publishers, advertisers and agencies with leading edge mobile advertising technology and services,' it said. Amobee has 120 employees, including 55 in Herzliya[, Israel]."
Read more. The acquisition is likely not the billion exit that Sequoia and Accel envisioned. But, it's profitable nevertheless.
This appears to be part of the global land grab going on in the ad network or "mobile ad solutions" business - both mobile and PC. Komli last week acquired southeast Asia's AdMax ad network last week. What's interesting about the Amobee acquisition is the footprint it provides for SingTel into the U.S. mobile media business. See the Amobee "About Us" section. The digital ad business is being driven from all parts of the world as companies look to provide global geographic reach that could provide an attractive offering to global brands now and, more importantly, down the road. It raises the question of whether telecom players like Verizon or AT&T could buy its own ad network soon.
Quoting SingTel's Allen Lew from the press conference, Globes Online writes:
"The way we value this company is not based on just the net tangible assets. We value this company based on what we think eventually it will be worth. The mobile marketing industry is embryonic, it has huge growth potential."
By John Ebbert