Google scoops mobile advertising pioneer

Eden Zoller/Ovum
24 Nov 2009

Google is set to buy mobile advertising network specialist AdMob in an all-stock deal valued at $750 million – a deal that shows how serious Google is about being a top player in this space.

The acquisition is a good fit: Google needs to strengthen its hand in mobile display advertising, where Admob is already a strong player particularly in serving ads on Google’s Android platform and also the iPhone. AdMob, although well established and respected, needed a strong partner and funds for future growth.

Google is getting stronger in mobile search but lacks a strong foothold in mobile display advertising. AdMob reportedly serves more than 8.5 billion mobile banner and text ads per month across a publisher network of 15,000 mobile websites and applications in 160 countries. Set up in 2006, AdMob has a strong track record of campaigns with leading brands.

One of the things we’ve always liked about AdMob is its spirit of constant improvement. It has put a lot of effort into improving the targeting capabilities of its platform.

AdMob publishes regular metrics for different aspects of its mobile advertising network – advertising traffic requests by region, country and device type. It was one of the first companies to launch a unit to handle ads for the iPhone in July 2008, followed by a similar unit dedicated to Android in February 2009.

We marked AdMob as a hot acquisition target in our March 2009 report titled “Mobile advertising players: ones to watch.” AdMob is privately held and only reveals limited financial detail. It is well funded (investors include Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners) and reported in October 2008 that it had achieved positive cash-flow results.

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