Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., or SingTel, said Monday that it would pay $321 million to acquire Amobee Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of mobile advertising technology. Amobee has raised venture financing from investors including Cisco Systems, Motorola, Telefonica, Vodafone, Accel Partners, Globespan Capital Partners and Sequoia Capital. SingTel is 55% owned by Singapore sovereign investor Temasek Holdings.
Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) is expanding its presence into the fast-growing mobile advertising and marketing industry, with plans to help brands better reach their target audience and deliver relevant offers, rewards and promotions to customers. To strengthen its capabilities, SingTel has signed an agreement to acquire U.S.-based Amobee, a premium provider of mobile advertising solutions to operators, publishers and advertisers globally.
Mobile devices today play an important role in everyday life. They are increasingly popular with customers who depend more and more on these devices to provide timely and relevant information on the go. Beyond mobile advertising, through banner ads, there are opportunities to include targeted deals and coupons as well as loyalty rewards programmes for customers. SingTel fully intends to harness these opportunities to become not only the leading mobile advertising company in Asia Pacific, but also among the top three worldwide.
In addition, SingTel plans to change the game in this industry by delivering the next generation relationship marketing tool for brands to give them more scope to deepen their one-on-one engagement with different audiences across different countries.
SingTel already has advanced geo-localisation capabilities, as well as the means to empower customers to receive only relevant and customised offers and promotions catering to their needs and preferences while protecting their privacy. Furthermore, SingTel’s access to the Group’s over 400 million mobile customers offers a compelling proposition for brands wanting to reach customers in the emerging markets. Amobee complements these capabilities with a strong technical platform that serves ads, banner as well as video ads and an experienced team in mobile advertising.
Mr Allen Lew, CEO Group Digital L!fe (designate), said: “The mobile advertising market is nascent and has significant potential for mobile operators, who are able to provide differentiated solutions across smartphones and feature phones, giving brands a better return on their marketing spend. We want to capture that growth in developed and emerging markets, starting with this acquisition. SingTel brings better value to customers as they are in control of the promotional message they receive. Likewise for brands, they will be able to reach out to the customers who are interested in their products and minimise wastage of ad spend.”
Founded in 2005, Amobee has been generating strong year-on-year revenue growth. Under the agreement, SingTel will pay about US$321 million for this acquisition.
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.
Mr Lew added: “In a short time, Amobee has established itself as a leader in this market and we are excited to have the team on board. This expansion into the mobile marketing industry is part of our strategy to increase our share of the digital consumer wallet and will allow us to shape the digital ecosystem.”
Mr Trevor Healy, Amobee CEO said: “We are delighted to partner SingTel to continue our leadership in mobile advertising. 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 transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent, including satisfaction of applicable regulatory requirements, and is expected to complete before June 2012.
SingTel is Asia’s leading communications group providing a portfolio of services including voice and data solutions over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms as well as infocomm technology and pay TV. The Group has presence in Asia and Africa with 434 million mobile customers in 25 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. It also has a network of offices in 20 countries and territories throughout Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States.
Amobee, the company defining mobile advertising, offers comprehensive, end-to-end mobile advertising solutions and services for advertisers, publishers and operators. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, with offices in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the US, Amobee enables its large customers to run targeted, leading edge mobile ad campaigns on a global scale with unparalleled ROI. It was declared the winner of the “Mobile Marketing & Advertising Agency of the Year” award at the 17th Annual Global Mobile Awards, held at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Amobee was selected for its sustained leadership, creativity, innovation and success in mobile advertising, successfully spearheading growth, adoption and evolution of this fast-growing industry.