“AppLovin is the clear leader in mobile marketing automation and consistently delivers outstanding results for their customers,” said Orient Hontai CEO Tony Ma in a release on the deal. “As the mobile market grows, AppLovin is well-positioned to herald new innovations.”
The AppLovin technology is centered on user acquisition, mobile monetization and retargeting. At base, it's an ad network that helps advertisers tap into their existing user data in order to reach, convert and engage similar users. After acquiring a user, AppLovin keeps tracking that person for retargeting and retention purposes.
For the last year or so, video has become an increasingly large part of its business. The company has a dedicated in-house creative team that works with clients to develop mobile branded video content informed by the user behavior and engagement data it collects.
In June 2015, AppLovin CEO and founder Adam Foroughi told AdExchanger that video had become a "well over $100 million business" for the company less than a year after launching it.
Based in San Francisco, AppLovin was completely bootstrapped and other than $4 million from a few angels, never raised any VC funding (unlike most of its peers and competitors). Clients include HotelTonight, Pandora, SeatGeek, Ibotta and Chinese utility app publisher and mobile monetization platform Cheetah Mobile
The Orient Hontai deal is expected to close before the end of the year.
Beyond Media.net and now AppLovin, a group of Chinese companies bought Opera Software’s browser business for $600 million in July after a proposed $1.2 billion deal for the whole shebang, including Opera Mediaworks, fell through. In June, mobile SSP Smaato was snapped up by an offline marketing services provider based in Beijing for $148 million. And in February, Chinese mobile ad platform Mobvista acquired app monetization company NativeX for $25 million.