M&A Alert—May 6, 2015
App Annie Acquires Mobile App Analytics Company Mobidia
Author: Steve Payne, David Wei Liu
Transaction Size: undisclosed
On May 6, 2015, App Annie, a leading mobile app market data vendor, announced the acquisition of Vancouver-based competitor Mobidia. Architect Partners was the financial advisor to Mobidia on this transaction.
Mobidia offers the industry’s largest set of mobile app and network usage data. For millions of iOS and Android apps, Mobidia tracks actual usage that shows what people are actually using, rather than just downloads, which primarily show intent. For all the apps installed on over a million mobile devices, Mobidia tracks the time of day a user opens an app, how long she uses it, how much data is consumed for each use, location, the user’s carrier, handset, data plan size, network used, etc. Then Mobidia offers its clients a subscription service for app and network usage data by category and country, delivered via a web or mobile dashboard.
Mobidia tracks 3mm+ apps globally, from millions of active devices, on 800+ 3G and LTE carriers and 10,000+ public and private Wifi networks. Every month Mobidia tracks usage data from 4 billion location points in 200+ countries, including the largest markets of US, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India and China. Mobidia has 100+ data clients, including app vendors, platform and network providers such as Google, Microsoft, Verizon, Twitter, AT&T, and investment groups.
Mobidia was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Vancouver, BC. The company has 30 employees, all of whom will shift over to App Annie. Mobidia had raised $32mm in venture funding from BC Advantage Funds, Business Development Bank of Canada, Discover Capital and others.
App Annie is a leading mobile app analytics company providing a suite of market intelligence products for the app economy. It sources download data through mobile app stores and its developer clients and captures usage data though its own VPN apps. App Annie offers limited download data for app publishers and marketers via a freemium model, and offers more detailed download, revenue and usage data via subscription. App Annie’s data subscriptions range from $1,200/month to over $20,000/month for its full services. Over 370,000 registered (mainly free) users use App Annie analytics to track app performance, including 90 of the top 100 app publishers.
App Annie was founded in 2009 and now has over 300 employees. It is headquartered in San Francisco with 9 other offices globally, including R&D centers in Beijing and Amsterdam. App Annie has raised $94mm ($55mm in December 2014) from Sequoia (Omar Hamoui, Tim Lee), IDG (Xiaojun Li), Greycroft, e.ventures, Infinity Venture Partners, and Institutional Venture Partners (Eric Liaw).
The size of the transaction was not disclosed, as is typical with private-private transactions.
Recent comparable transactions include Facebook’s acquisition of Onavo ($150mm, 10.7x invested capital), Yahoo’s acquisition of Flurry ($270mm, 3.7x invested capital), App Annie’s acquisition of Distimo and Criteo’s acquisition of AD-X Tracking.
In the fast-growing mobile app data space, customers have been pushing for actual (not estimated) app usage (not just download) data. App Annie had announced new offerings in app usage and was in the process of building out their mobile device coverage. Although smaller in revenues, Mobidia has been known as the gold standard in actual app and network usage data, with three years of data from over 200 countries, and App Annie’s acquisition was the result of a clear make-versus-buy decision to allow App Annie to immediately claim leadership in this sector versus SimilarWeb, Localytics, comScore, Nielsen, etc.
Architect Partners’ Observations
Mobile app analytics vendors, such as Flurry, initially served developers by providing download and in-app usage data. This business has broadened considerably as product managers and marketers now use insights from app usage for product optimization and marketing. The ultimate application for this data will be in app monetization and real-time ad targeting.
In addition to the acquisitions highlighted above, there has been a major wave of investment into this sector in the past six months, including App Annie ($55mm raised on 01/13/15, $94mm raised in total), MixPanel ($65mm raised on 12/18/14, $77mm raised in total), and SimilarWeb ($15mm raised on 11/25/14, $36.3mm raised in total).
This transaction firmly underscores a recurring Architect Partners theme around the value of data and analytics.