Mobile ad network InMobi will acquire Pinsight Media, Sprint’s mobile advertising and insights unit, the companies said on Wednesday. A team of roughly 100 people will join InMobi from Pinsight and remain based in Kansas City, Mo., where Sprint has its headquarters.
The all-stock deal isn’t a typical acquisition.
The idea is for InMobi to help Sprint monetize its first-party data across the InMobi publisher network using the tech stack within Pinsight, which includes a data management platform and a programmatic execution layer.
No Sprint data is being exchanged in the deal, just Pinsight’s tech stack.
In exchange, InMobi gets to boast a strategic partnership with Sprint and add all of Sprint’s apps and content to its publisher network.
“We’re running and controlling this unit for Sprint so that they don’t have to,” said Naveen Tewari, InMobi’s CEO & founder.
InMobi will also use Pinsight to attract international telco clients looking to monetize and gain insights from their own first-party assets.
“The telco business model is going to change over the next couple of years, and they’re all trying to figure out how to leverage the data assets they have,” Tewari said.
Telcos are fiercely competitive with other operators in their markets, but not with carriers in other regions. The fact that InMobi will have experience working with a US telco data at scale may be attractive to carriers in India or Southeast Asia, Tewari said.
“We’ll be able to deal with the complexities that a telco data set throws out there,” he said. “Once you understand how to deal with telco data, the nuances across geos is not daunting anymore.”
That said, InMobi doesn’t have any telcos on board yet.
Privacy is always top of mind, Tewari said. The data that Pinsight analyzes is always aggregated and never leaves the borders of whatever region in which it’s being processed, and no personally identifiable information ever hits the system.
“The reality is that in our business, you have to be on top of your game when it comes to privacy,” Terawi said.
He knows whereof he speaks. The Federal Trade Commission fined InMobi $950,000 in 2016 for a COPPA violation.
The company told AdExchanger that these days inMobi has its GDPR house in order, a "well-rounded privacy program" developed with the help of industry privacy experts and an organization-wide privacy training program to help keep its employees up to speed on the intricacies of user data privacy.