Asia's SingTel buys mobile ad co. Amobee for $321M

Krystal Peak · March 5, 2012 · Short URL:

In a move to become the largest mobile advertising service, SingTel buys Redwood City company


The Asian communication carrier SingTel announced Monday that it would buy the California-based Amobee to expand its mobile advertising business.

SingTel, which has 434 million mobile customers in 25 countries, is expected to close this deal to buy Amobee for $321 million. SingTel is one of Asia's leading communications groups offering services, including voice and data solutions over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms as well as infocomm technology and pay TV. 

This acquisition is a clear move by SingTel to assist brands that wish to target customers that want to reach the Asia-Pacific region.

SingTel has spent time and money beefing up its mobile advertising arm including its previous investment in geo-localization services, and the capability of sending local deals and marketing promotions based on a customer’s profile.

Since the mobile ad market is projected to bring in at least $2.6 billion this year, telecommunication companies are always looking for ways to get a piece of the pie and make their services more attractive and easily adaptable to these shift in marketing. 

And over the summer, we reported that the mobile advertising industry is projected to reach $4 billion in revenues in 2015, according to a report from research firm BIA/Kelsey.

Of that revenue, locally targeted ads accounted for $404 million, or 51% of overall U.S. mobile ad spending. By 2015, local mobile ads will grow to account for 70% of all mobile ads, generating $2.8 billion in revenues.

This Amobee acquisition will give SingTel integration capabilities to sell banner and rich-media ads. SingTel will partner Amobee to build a strong independent company that will serve operators, publishers, advertisers and agencies with leading edge mobile advertising technology and services. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Amobee's management team will remain in active control of the company.

Since 2006, Amobee has raised $54 million in VC funding from the likes of Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, Cisco, and Motorola Solutions.

All of Amobee’s existing employees, including CEO Trevor Healy, will be joining SingTel.

"We are delighted to partner SingTel to continue our leadership in mobile advertising," Trevor Healy, Amobee CEO said in a statement. "SingTel and Amobee have a shared a vision of the future of mobile marketing and by leveraging each other's strengths, we will be able to advance the industry on a global scale at a faster pace."

The Redwood City-based Amobee, which was founded in 2005 will also provide SingTel better insight on new innovation in the Silicon Valley scene and talent pipeline. 

SingTel believes that this acquisition will assist in its effort to become one of the top three mobile advertising entities worldwide. Earlier this year, Amobee won the award of the “Mobile Advertising & Marketing Agency of the Year” in the 17th Annual Global Mobile Awards, held at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The announcement did not address what would happen with Amobee’s existing customer relationships when SingTel takes over the company. Amobee has a notable customer list in consideration including Google, Skype, eBay, Barnes & Noble, Nokia and France Telecom.  Amobee was not immediately available for comment on this development.

The deal is expected to complete before June 2012.



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Amobee is the first company to deliver a unified, telco-grade system for funding mobile content and communications through advertising revenues. Amobee has launched a new media system for ad-funding the entire mobile content and communication business.