PubMatic Puts Mobile In Motion, Acquires Ad Server Mocean Mobile For $15.5M

PubMatic continues to up its mobile game, as the supply-side platform (SSP) on Monday announced its acquisition of Mocean Mobile, a mobile ad server for publishers. PubMatic can now directly offer its publisher partners an ad server to sell mobile ads via traditional direct sales, programmatic direct sales or mediation.

A source close to the deal confirmed to RTM Daily that the acquisition price was $15.5 million, as Advertising Age initially reported. The source also confirmed that it is PubMatic’s largest acquisition to date.

PubMatic will absorb Mocean’s 40-plus employees, who will work from the company's New York and London offices. PubMatic says its worldwide employee headcount is now over 475. The combined entity will operate under the PubMatic brand name.

PubMatic's positive outlook on mobile advertising has been made abundantly clear in the past week. The Mocean Mobile acquisition comes just days after PubMatic partnered with mobile ad platform xAd to launch a programmatic marketplace for mobile that relies entirely on location-based targeting.

“The growth [in mobile] has been astounding,” said Bob Walczak, GM of mobile and video at PubMatic. “We’re doing well at it.” He attributed PubMatic’s success in the mobile arena to investments the company has made, and he called the Mocean deal “another logical investment.”

“Their customer base aligned really well with ours,” Walczak continued. “They are a premium mobile ad sever. That’s a distinction to understand here. There are other ad servers that are just monetization platforms -- [Mocean] is designed for premium publishers that have their own sales force."

Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic, said in an earlier statement that the deal beefs up PubMatic’s multi-screen technology infrastructure and expands the company’s programmatic mobile offering to include both direct and indirect sales. Walczak noted that PubMatic is “heavily invested in programmatic direct.”

Mocean’s ad server currently works for both mobile app and mobile Web inventory, and Walczak said PubMatic will likely look into expanding into mobile video. However, Walczak believes the “real opportunity” is to do native advertising through Mocean.

“They already have their SDK [for native] in place,” he said. “We are going to be combining strategies.” PubMatic has its sights set on becoming a leader in the mobile native ad space, per Walczak.

No specific timeline was shared in terms of how long it will take to integrate Mocean's tech into PubMatic's platform, but it doesn’t sound like the wait will be long.

“We are moving as fast as we can,” Walczak said. “It’s going to happen very quickly. We are excited to merge with them both on the front-end and back-end.”

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