What: Independent mobile marketing platform AppLovin has entered into a definitive agreement with Orient Hontai Capital, a private equity investment firm in China in a deal valued at US$1.4 billion.
Why it matters: AppLovin will continue its standard operations, maintaining its corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California and servicing its customers globally.
AppLovin, the independent mobile marketing platform, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Orient Hontai Capital (“Orient Hontai” or “东方弘泰” in Chinese), a private equity investment firm in China. The transaction, which gives majority interest to Orient Hontai, is valued at US$1.4 billion.
AppLovin was founded in 2011 by Adam Foroughi, Andrew Karam and John Krystynak. The company has never taken venture capital funding and raised just US$4 million in angel investment from notable investors including Eduardo Vivas (Bright.com and LinkedIn), John Burbank (Passport Capital) and Webb Investment Network, the early stage fund founded by Maynard Webb (Chairman of Yahoo! and board member at Salesforce, Visa and Everwise).
AppLovin is a mobile marketing platform that helps the world’s largest brands reach consumers with relevant content. In a rare feat, AppLovin has been profitable since its first year of operation and the business has more than doubled every year since launch. Advertisers are tracking to spend nearly half a billion dollars in 2016 on the AppLovin platform.
AppLovin will continue its standard operations, maintaining its corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California and servicing its customers globally. AppLovin will retain its talented team of approximately 100 employees, including founding team members: Tariq Ahmed, Omer Hasan, Mark Rosner, Robert Russo, Basil Shikin and Rafael Vivas.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and expected to close in the 4th quarter of 2016. CVCapital is serving as financial advisor to AppLovin and Citi Orient Securities is the exclusive financial advisor to Orient Hontai Capital for this transaction. Fenwick & West is serving as legal advisor to AppLovin and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is serving as legal advisor to Orient Hontai Capital.
“Today is a great day for AppLovin. This level of investment validates the outstanding product we’ve built. What’s more, is the profound significance for the entire advertising industry given this is the most sizeable outcome for a mobile advertising company ever,” said AppLovin cofounder and CEO, Adam Foroughi. “We’ve seen a high volume of interest in our business, and we ultimately chose to partner with Orient Hontai because of their strong connections in the Chinese market. Our goals are perfectly aligned, and we share a commitment to scale globally and to continue the highest standards of operation. The AppLovin team is excited to begin this next phase and expand reach into new geographic regions.”
“AppLovin is the clear leader in mobile marketing automaustion and consistently delivers outstanding results for their customers. As the mobile market grows, AppLovin is well-positioned to herald new innovations and a standard of excellence,” said Tony Ma, CEO of Orient Hontai. “We are excited to work with the AppLovin team and apply our experiences to accelerate AppLovin’s growth and global market share.”