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Amobee’s purchase of Gradient X is the latest in a line of mobile-advertising deals, as ad-tech companies bring on new capabilities to serve the quickly growing market.
Amobee became a subsidiary of SingTel in a $321m deal last year. It was unique in that a wireless carrier was spending a significant amount of money to extend beyond its core services business. The rationale behind that deal was to give Amobee resources to expand. Earlier this year, Amobee acquired Adjitsu.com for interactive-ad technology, and continues to look for deals that bring it new mobile technologies or enable its global expansion.
Gradient X had just begun commercializing technology to automate and optimize the purchase of mobile ad space. Amobee already offered advertisers a product that would enable them to place their mobile ads across different publishers through a manual process.
This deal brings the total number of mobile ad-tech acquisitions so far this year to 16, one more than all of last year, according to the 451 KnowledgeBase. Other deals include app developer Phunware’s $23m purchase of mobile ad network TapIt Media, Millennial Media’s $14m acquisition of mobile-ad targeter Metaresolver and its $221m deal for Jumptap, which it bought for capabilities such as real-time bidding and targeting. (Investors didn’t exactly love Millennial Media’s bet on Jumptap, and knocked shares in the company to their lowest-ever levels.)
Still, the market is growing quickly, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau. Mobile-advertising spending doubled last year to $3.4bn. However, we would note that is still less than a tenth of the digital advertising market in the US, despite consumers spending an ever-increasing amount of time on their mobile devices.
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