Report: Google Seeking To Buy Mobile Ad Platform InMobi


According to anonymous sources (reported first by Economic Times of India), Google and India-based mobile ad network/platform InMobi are discussing a potential acquisition. A separate Reuters article cites a potential purchase price of $1 billion. However the Economic Times article says that InMobi is seeking $2 billion.

Accordingly different valuations of the company could prevent a deal from happening.

In Q4, InMobi announced that it had “reached over one billion unique mobile devices on its network [  ] making it the only mobile-first advertising platform to reach this landmark milestone.” It also said it was seeing 6 billion ad requests per day.

InMobi’s audience distribution largely complements Google’s: APAC 38 percent; Europe 24 percent, North America 19 percent, LATAM 10 percent.

Google’s last couple of quarters have disappointed Wall Street. Despite the fact that Google is the leading mobile advertising platform and has a healthy display business, its growth has slowed. An InMobi acquisition would undoubtedly boost mobile growth and revenues.

Mobile display revenues in the US

Above is eMarketer’s estimate of the distribution of mobile display revenue in the US market. Facebook leads, followed by Google. However there’s a meaningful gap between the two. InMobi’s greatest reach and strength are mostly international.

Whether or not Google actually buys InMobi, we’re likely entering a period of ad-network consolidation with larger players grabbing some of the independent networks with any scale (e.g., Millennial, xAd, InMobi).

Earlier this month InMobi introduced what it calls “Appographic Targeting,” an app-interest-based audience targeting capability.

Postscript: Quoted in the NY Times, InMobi CEO Naveen Tewari said that he wanted to remain independent and denied that Google was courting the company. He added that he sees InMobi eventually going public.

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