Consolidation in mobile monetisation fragments then coalesces as Science Inc buys Upsight's PlayHaven ad network

Now focusing on our individual goals

Date Type Companies involved Size
September 24th, 2014 acquisition Science Inc.
Not disclosed
Consolidation in mobile monetisation fragments then coalesces as Science Inc buys Upsight's PlayHaven ad network

If you wanted an examplar of how dynamic (and confusing) the mobile advertising market can be, you'd be hard pushed to find anything better than the just-announced deal between Science Inc. and Upsight.

For one thing, Upsight itself is a relatively new outfit.

Riding the tides of consolidation, it's the conclusion of the merger between analytics company Kontagent and mobile marketing company PlayHaven.

However, as part of the actionable analytics-focused organisation, PlayHaven continued to run its own advertising network, as used by companies like Glu Mobile, Kabam and Gaia Online.

After all, advertising remains a fast-growing and profitable sector, even if running your own network could be viewed as a conflict of interest for an analytical marketing company such as Upsight.

And it's this anomaly that eventually told, resulting in today's deal, which sees Science Inc. buying the assets, technology and people of the PlayHaven ad network.

The rest of Upsight - analytics and mobile marketing (in-app messaging, push notifications etc) - remains untouched.

Operational approach

As for Science Inc, it has an original approach to business too.

Geographically split between the US, India and Armenia, it operates a portfolio of separate but fully and part-owned companies that range from buzzy consumer brands like Dollar Shave Club to wealth management company Wealthfront, social marketing outfits Refame and HelloSociety, and ad network Chirp.

Terms weren't disclosed but Science's Jason Rapp describes it as 'our largest to-date'.

It's the latter that best matches PlayHaven's ad network.

Indeed, the two companies will now be merged under the PlayHaven name, creating a non-incentivised network that's integrated in over 18,000 games and reaches over 250 million players a month.

"We were interested to expand into the mobile gaming category, and Upsight was looking for a new home for its advertising business," explains Science Inc.'s MD Jason Rapp, of the coming together.

"Our plan is, together with our technology and marketing resources, to grow the business and invest in new products."

PlayHaven will also act as Santa Monica-based Science Inc.'s San Francisco hub.

Upping the Upsight

The terms of the deal weren't disclosed but Rapp describes it as being sizeable, and "our largest deal to-date".

As for Upsight, it will be taking the proceeds of the sale and investing them in its products.

"The sale allows us to concentrate on our core goal, which is providing developers with actionable insights," said Upsight CEO Andy Yang.

"We're particularly looking to deepen our products in terms of predictive analytics, so developers can, for example, see which players are going to churn and then interact with them to stop that happening."

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.