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Twitter Acquires Mobile Ad Firm MoPub

MoPub acquisition, reportedly worth $350 million, will help Twitter strengthen its mobile ad platform in advance of a rumored 2014 IPO.
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In a move to bolster its mobile advertising efforts, Twitter announced this week that it has agreed to acquire MoPub, a three-year-old mobile advertising firm that helps publishers manage their ad inventory.

Twitter, which eMarketer estimated will earn about $583 million in global ad revenue this year, is looking to increase that number in advance of an initial public offering, which experts say will likely come next year.

Reports suggest that Twitter acquired MoPub for around $350 million. Neither Twitter nor MoPub have commented on the details of the deal.

[ Facebook has fallen short in keeping pace with Twitter. Read 4 Ways Twitter Is Beating Facebook. ]

Kevin Weil, Twitter's VP of revenue product, said in a blog post that the acquisition of MoPub supports the growing trend toward mobile.

"The two major trends in the ad world right now are the rapid consumer shift toward mobile usage and the industry shift to programmatic buying," he said. "Twitter sits at the intersection of these, and we think by bringing MoPub's technology and team to Twitter, we can further drive these trends for the benefit of consumers, advertisers and agencies."

MoPub's ad serving platform for mobile application publishers helps them manage their ad inventory on iOS and Android, according to the company. It aids businesses in managing direct ads, house ads, ad networks and real-time bidding through its real-time bidding exchange, called MoPub Marketplace. Weil said Twitter plans to use MoPub's technology to build real-time bidding into the Twitter ads platform so advertisers can more easily automate and scale their buys.

"We'll continue to invest in and improve their core business," he said. "In particular, we think there is a key opportunity to extend many types of native advertising across the mobile ecosystem through the MoPub exchange."

According to MoPub's blog post confirming the sale, the company ascertains that its commitment to publishers will remain unchanged.

"Twitter will invest in our core business and we will continue to build the tools and technology you need to better run your mobile advertising business. In addition to investing in new capabilities for our publisher platform, we believe there are opportunities to bring better native advertising to the mobile ecosystem," CEO Jim Payne said.

MoPub has about 100 employees, mostly based in San Francisco and New York. The company has raised about $18.5 million from venture capitalists including Accel Partners, AngelPad, Harrison Metal and Iris Capital.

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