M&A
InMobi will gain from AerServ’s programmatic capabilities and AerServ will benefit from InMobi’s scale and reach.
Image source: Facebook

This could be another proud moment for those who love to see Indian startups do well on the world stage. InMobi, the Bangalore-headquartered mobile advertising platform has acquired a US-based company AerServ in a cash and stock deal worth $90 million. The Los Angeles firm specializes in delivering programmatic video ads and counts in its clients list, Warner Bros, Shazam and Gameloft.

The acquisition is being described as one that is a win-win for both InMobi and AerServ, since InMobi will gain from AerServ’s programmatic capabilities and AerServ will be benefitting from the scale and spread that InMobi has already achieved. Programmatic video ads are described as ones where clients don't need salesforces to negotiate ad purchases or provide manual insertion orders.

Naveen Tiwari, the founder of InMobi claims this might be one of many acquisitions they intend to make, in future. In the past, InMobi has already taken over Sprout, MMTG Labs, Metaflow Solutions and Overlay Media in the past, though these were much smaller firms when compared to the current takeover of AerServ. The combined entity is definitely capable of scaling new heights in the mobile and online video advertising business.

InMobi will also emerge as the largest independent mobile ad network. Though Google and Facebook are the key competitors for InMobi; however, while Google is a search engine, Facebook is seen more as a social network and the advertising they are involved in are limited to their own sites; InMobi’s ads for its clients can be seen all over the virtual landscape. There are other competitors here, like AdColony, Vungle and Chartboost.

In terms of the operations, AerServ has been focusing only on the US market so far and now that InMobi is in, the company will now turn to China and to India, the two largest mobile phone markets in the world. As per unofficial reports, the InMobi has recorded a turnover of $400 million and it has turned profitable in the year 2016.

InMobi’s product mix has been 35% of video ads and 40% of programmatic ads. The new acquisition of AerServ and the overall market demand will see the programmatic ads double to 80% in the foreseeable future.   

Talking of fund raising, InMobi had raised $200 million through SoftBank, way back in 2011. Subsequently, a $100 million debt funding was also raised, but the company says this debt has now come down to $45 million.