Updated at 4:53 p.m. Pacific
RNTS Media has acquired Berlin-based Fyber for $190 million in a bid to create a global mobile advertising technology company. The transaction is unusual in that Fyber is the bigger company and its management team will help run the combined company as it negotiates its way in the $18 billion mobile ad revenue market.
Fyber will become a division of RNTS, but the deal is structured in a way to allow the Berlin company to continue its existing operations. Since RNTS is publicly traded on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, the deal gives Fyber access to the public markets and a pathway for geographic expansion. RNTS’ has its headquarters in Berlin, and it has a large office in South Korea.
“This is what it takes to continue to grow the business,” said Andreas Bodczek, the chief executive of Fyber, who will become managing director and CEO of the RNTS Media Management Board.
Janis Zech, the cofounder and chief revenue officer of Fyber, will also join the management board. Fyber will operate under its existing management team.
“There’s a strong vote of confidence in the Fyber management team,” Bodczek said.
Fyber is a mobile supply-side platform that simplifies advertising for mobile game and app developers. It provides a single dashboard that enables game and app companies to manage all of their ad networks with a single software development kit. With Fyber, developers can manage all of their ad networks at once. They can cut direct deals with ad networks and optimize their ad spending. The company will also help the mobile monetization industry consolidate so developers can have a one-stop shop for monetizing ads.
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Bodczek said about 45 percent of Fyber’s business is in Europe, 45 percent is in the U.S., and 10 percent is the rest of the world. Bodczek said there is very little overlap in business between Fyber and RNTS. Fyber serves about 150 million unique users each month through its customers, who are mostly game makers.
Terms of the cash-and-stock transaction were not disclosed. Bodczek said the deal is good for the company, which has raised 10 million euros to date.
“This is a great opportunity to validate the work the team has done,” he said. “It’s a great outcome that lets us start on the next phase of the journey.”
Bodczek said the transaction will allow the company to further innovate and accelerate the development of its mobile supply-side platform and support the plans to hire 60 more employees globally this year.
Fyber started its life as SponsorPay in 2009, focused on creating advertising solutions for browser-based web games. In 2011, it shifted into mobile, and today, its business is almost exclusively focused on the $18 billion mobile ad revenue market. Today, Fyber’s thousands of customers include Gree, Glu Mobile, Kongregate, and Pixelberry. It offers those companies a single, unified, mobile supply-side platform that allows customers to integrate, manage, and optimize their mobile ad revenue.
“The confluence of RNTS’ cross-platform digital media expertise and the agility and ferocity of a transatlantic startup company is powerful,” said Ryan Kavanaugh, RNTS Media Supervisory Board member. “Over the years, Fyber has steadily established a solid position in the digital advertising space and the company has an impressive leadership team. Fyber is an attractive partner to leverage for our networks around the world, and will become a tech gateway for RNTS to the mobile app ecosystem.”
Fyber said that its revenue has grown at an average annual rate of 76 percent from 2010 to 2013. Fyber has 215 employees, while RNTS has more than 100, most of them in South Korea. The headquarters for the combined company will be in Berlin, with large offices in Seoul and San Francisco.
SponsorPay rebranded itself in July as Fyber, creating a brand that it felt could better describe its mission of unifying the fragmented mobile ad ecosystem with a single ad-management platform.