Taiwan’s GMobi buys Israel mobile ad giant MassiveImpact

In a deal said to be worth billions of Taiwanese dollars, Android phone marketing giant teams up with one of the world’s top mobile ad firms

MassiveImpact CEO Sephi Shapira (L) in an interview at Mobile World Congress, February 25, 2013 (Courtesy)
MassiveImpact CEO Sephi Shapira (L) in an interview at Mobile World Congress, February 25, 2013 (Courtesy)

Taiwan’s General Mobile Corporation (GMobi) on Thursday announced that it was buying out Israel’s MassiveImpact, one of the largest performance advertising firms for mobile in the world. Terms of the sale were not announced.

Sources in the Taiwanese media said that the acquisition “took billions of Taiwan dollars and one and a half years to complete. The purchase is made up of cash and stock.” One Taiwanese dollar is worth 32¢ at current exchange rates.

MassiveImpact, which has a major presence in China – the world’s largest mobile market – was established in 2010 by Israeli entrepreneur Sephi Shapira. According to GMobi, MassiveImpact reaches over 1 billion users in 190 countries, and works with top tech, retail and gaming brands inside China and elsewhere, including Gameloft, Citibank, AIA, Tencent and Baidu.

In a performance-based advertising system, the ad platform doesn’t get paid until the customer takes action – such as responding to an ad, performing an in-app purchase, etc. The platform promotes those actions to customers on behalf of clients, and according to Shapira, his company probably does that promotion better than any other – especially in the Chinese market.

“The growth in Chinese household wealth in urban areas and swelling middle class has already caused some to call China the world’s largest luxury consumer market, and it is only forecasted to grow,” said Shapira. “Brands are trying to reach these users and MassiveImpact’s performance advertising model, that charges advertisers for conversions and not clicks, means that the company is able to tap into the Chinese consumption boom without having to worry about ad fraud and wasted ad spend.”

GMobi provides apps, services, and other products that mobile manufacturers can put on their devices, providing content for phone buyers and an advertising opportunity for thousands of service providers, app makers, and others across the world. The company, which works with over 100 phone manufacturers – many of them small firms making Android devices and sold in emerging markets – intends to use MassiveImpact’s connections and clients to greatly expand its offerings, according to Paul Wu, founder and CEO of GMobi.

“The acquisition of MassiveImpact will complement existing mobile technology services provided by GMobi such as Firmware-Over-The-Air (FOTA) updates, secure mobile payments, and mobile advertising,” GMobi said in a statement.

For GMobi customers, the MassiveImpact acquisition means greater value via optimized targeting, content delivery, and end user experiences through the company’s Real Time Performance (RTP) platform, according to Wu. “We’re excited to revolutionize how brands connect with consumers. Combined, GMobi and MassiveImpact’s technologies will transform mobile advertising experiences,” he said.

“The acquisition will add our strength and experience with social platforms to GMobi’s existing marketing campaigns and put GMobi in a highly competitive position in the mobile advertising industry,” Shapira added.

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