What: Opera Mediaworks is acquiring Latin mobile ad platform Hunt Mobile Ads.
Why it matters: A major mobile advertising network and platform is expanding into the U.S. Hispanic market and Latin America as it sees these markets as high growth markets.The transaction also reflects increasing consolidation in the (Latin) mobile advertising sector. Among other transactions last year, Cisneros’ AdsMovil acquired Kontextua and partnered with Millenial Media for Latin America.
Mobile advertising platform Opera Mediaworks, part of Norway’s Opera Software, is acquiring Hunt Mobile Ads, a Buenos Aires Argentina headquartered mobile advertising company with presence in Latin America (Mexico City, San Jose, Costa Rica; Bogota, Colombia; and Sao Paulo, Brazil)and in the U.S. Hispanic market (Miami). The amount of the transaction has not been disclosed.
Opera will continue to leverage the Hunt Mobile Ads brand because of its recognition in the region, a news release said. “Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, represent a market of over 600 million consumers that are rapidly adopting the mobile internet,” said Opera Mediaworks CEO Mahi de Silva in a news release. “We are particularly excited about the hundreds of millions of global consumers, whose eyes will turn to the World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016 – both in Brazil.”Opera estimates that more than 50 million mobile consumers in Latin America already use its mobile browsers. And its ad platform serves thousands of publishers, with billions of ad impressions in the region.Worldwide, the company’s mobile ad platform served 400 million consumers in 2013, Opera said.
Reaching global scale is the only option for any company in the mobile business.
Alejandro Sas and Gaston Bercún, founders of Hunt Mobile Ads, tell Portada that “mobile is growing at a very high rate and that reaching global scale is the only alternative for any company in this business.” They add that “Hunt Mobile’s team will stay exactly the same and the Hunt Mobile Ad brand will be mantained, but we are adding technologies and products that until now were not available in the market.” Sas and Bercún expect their company’s sales to grow by more than 100% thanks to Hunt’s own growth and the fact that they now will be be able to leverage Opera’s technologies.
Based in San Mateo, Calif., Opera Mediaworks serves major media companies, including AOL, News Corp International and Univision, plus top advertisers such as CapitalOne, eBay, Kellogg’s, Marriott, Microsoft and Siemens. Through intelligent ad mediation, targeting, analytics and rich-media ad formats, the company claims to have helped its customers enable more than $400 million in revenue in 2012. Opera Mediaworks includes AdMarvel, a mobile ad server and ad exchange; Mobile Theory, a premium mobile ad network in the United States; 4th Screen Advertising Ltd., a premium ad network in the United Kingdom; and Mediaworks Performance, a results-driven, mobile ad network.
Opera Mobile was launched in 2000 as the first mobile browser to bring the full Web to the small mobile screen. Since 2004 it has been installed on 125 million phones. Opera Software is a public company listed in the Oslo and New York Stock Exchange.
In February 2013 Opera spinned off its advertising business into a brand new entity called Opera Mediaworks. Fully owned by Opera, the new subsidiary will consolidate under one roof multiple recent acquisitions, such as Mobile Theory, 4th screen or Admarvel. The Norwegian-based company claimed at the time that the new entity would now be the world’s largest mobile ad network. The rationale behind separating these two entities made a potential Opera acquisition much easier. For example, a technology company may be interesting by Opera’s browsers, but not by its very efficient and expansive advertising network. Opera’s mission is to make mobile and connected TV advertising work.