Biggest download platform in the world getting bigger

With its acquisition of Upopa, ironSource plans to reach out and sign up more mobile app makers

The ironSource team at its Tel Aviv headquarters (Courtesy)
The ironSource team at its Tel Aviv headquarters (Courtesy)

Already supplying the world’s most extensive and comprehensive digital delivery platform, Israel’s ironSource is getting even bigger. It’s acquiring Israeli mobile game studio Upopa for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition, ironSource said, will enable the company to “bring mobile game creation expertise to the recently launched ironLabs, ironSource’s internal innovation lab dedicated to creating new products and companies.”

Those products and companies will use the ironSource platform, enabling the company to expand its footprint in the gaming world, besides giving it an opportunity to earn money from ads and other income streams associated with new games. Via InstallCore, ironSource’s installation platform, mobile game developers will be able to dip into the company’s monetization features.

ironSource, not quite four years old, is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, with revenues said by analysts to be in excess of $200 million a year. The company partners with just about every tech and web giant out there, from Microsoft to Google to Yandex, the giant Russian search engine. Over 100 million people a month use ironSource’s tech services, the company says. The company’s most important brand, InstallCore, is a platform used by companies large and small to deliver software downloads to PC and mobile users, and is “an end-to-end platform solution for software installation delivery and monetization,” said Arnon Harish, general manager of InstallCore. Among the company’s customers are software makers and distributors – including one of the largest software download sources in the world, which uses InstallCore exclusively to deliver products to millions of users each day.

With Upopa, ironSource will be able to “incorporate experts in mobile game development into every facet of their comprehensive offering, helping them better serve the needs of both mobile and gaming developers.” Those experts will help ironSource reach out especially to mobile game developers, a prized group of customers at the company, given the huge and ever-expanding user base for mobile devices and apps all over the world, including in the developing world.

While ironSource could have bought out any one of the myriad gaming studios in the world – many of them very successful and with top talent – it’s likely that Upopa’s phenomenal growth, reflecting that of ironSource, was a factor. In only one year of operation, Upopa has already seen its games – like its popular app Hopeless – downloaded over 1,350,000 times and featured on the home pages of both the Google Play and Apple App stores.

That the kind of success fits in with the ironSource culture, said Omer Kaplan, deputy CEO of ironSource. “We are always looking for ways to bring new capabilities to developers that can help them turn their ideas into sustainable and scalable businesses. Upopa’s emphasis on creativity and building a truly enjoyable user experience dovetails perfectly with ironSource’s focus on providing solutions that have the best interests of both the user and the developer in mind.”

The new member of the team also welcomes the move. “We’re very excited to become part of the ironSource family. It’s an amazing opportunity to utilize this platform to bring our work to new audiences, and to be able to leverage our unique perspective for new ironSource projects,” said Niv Touboul, CEO of Upopa. “From day one, our main goal was to create outstanding games with a belief that great content will find its way to the players. ironSource combine a real understanding of what developers need with a commitment to giving users the best possible experience, and we are thrilled to become part of it.”

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