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Mobile Ad Network InMobi Continues Buying Spree, Picks Up Metaflow Solutions For App Distribution

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The shopping spree for InMobi continues apace: today the mobile advertising network has announced the acquisition of UK-based Metaflow Solutions, a mobile app management and distribution company. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed; we’re looking and will update as we learn more.

The news comes in the same month that InMobi announced the acquisition of MMTG Labs, another company focused on the distribution of apps — and points to how InMobi is broadening the reach and targeting it can offer to its mobile advertising developers and publishers. (It also shows how the company is putting its most recent $200 million round of funding to good use.)

“As a global leader in the mobile advertising space, InMobi is committed to growing the mobile ecosystem. Our acquisition of Metaflow Solutions will help us to continue to rapidly expand the distribution and monetisation of content for our developers and publisher partners,” Naveen Tewari, Founder and CEO at InMobi, said in a statement.

Consolidation in the mobile advertising and app distribution spaces seems inevitable. InMobi is one of the larger of the independent mobile advertising companies — its ads, it says, reach 578 million mobile consumers, in over 165 countries, through billions of ad impressions every single day — but there are at least 4 other ad networks working at that same scale or greater. Having a better route through to where those ads might go — that is, better targeting and placement, as well as wider placement — is essential for a company like InMobi to compete effectively against AdMob/Google, iAd, Jumptap, Millennial Media and all the rest.

And this is what the Metaflow acquisition can potentially bring. Metaflow says that it works with “thousands” of active mobile developers and helps distribute apps and other content to some 350 app stores and operators worldwide — another fragmentation issue that puts off advertisers — with some of the bigger names including EA, Orange, Glu, O2’s Bluevia and Eric Schmidt-backed white-label app storefront Appia.

Metaflow has been around since 2006 B.I. (that’s before iPhone btw), and as such has a continuing strong business in distributing content to feature phones. More recently, Metaflow has been growing distribution in the area of smartphones, with “a very strong Android app proposition,” says Rob Jonas, MD and VP EMEA and global business operations at InMobi (he was poached from Google back in 2007), who points out that smartphones “is what InMobi is focused on as well.” But even the feature phone part of Metaflow’s business is a good fit for InMobi. Despite the growth of smartphones in developed markets like the U.S. and UK, InMobi still has a very strong business in advertising on feature devices, courtesy of its strong presence in Asia and Africa.

Jonas says that the Metaflow purchase helps fill out a strategy InMobi has been pursuing to offer more services to the developer community. “The core of the business is the mobile ad network and that is not going to change, but for any company that is mob advertising-focused a huge part of our business comes form the developer community so we have been expanding our efforts with developers.”

If the four areas of focus for developers are build, distribute, understand and monetize their content, Metaflow helps bolster InMobi’s ability to distribute, he says. As for future acquisitions, they may be in the “understand” category: “We are lookign at analytics very closely,” he says. Less so app building: “That is the least interesting to us in terms of the four main areas, but we have to be responsive to what is going on in the market.” So right acquiring app building technology is is not a priority, but that could change.

While Jumptap is preparing to follow Millennial Media and IPO by next year, inMobi might not be following them very soon. “For now, we’re continuing to build the business,” he says. “We still have a lot left to do before we start thinking about that.”

The Metaflow team will report to Piyush Shah, VP and GM of developer platforms and performance advertising at InMobi, which is also where MMTG Labs’ team now also sits. Metaflow’s team, already based in the UK, will continue to stay in the country and work out of InMobi’s London office.

More to come. Full release below.

LONDON, UK, 31 July 2012 — InMobi, the largest independent mobile advertising network, today announced the acquisition of Metaflow Solutions, leaders in mobile app management and distribution solutions.

Metaflow technology simplifies the global deployment and content management process for developers through its intelligent submission tools optimised through six years of operations, servicing the biggest publishers in the market. Metaflow’s Management and Distribution of content to consumer portals has consistently provided the fastest, lowest cost way to publish apps to hundreds of independent, OEM & operator appstores across the globe.

“As a global leader in the mobile advertising space, InMobi is committed to growing the mobile ecosystem. Our acquisition of Metaflow Solutions will help us to continue to rapidly expand the distribution and monetisation of content for our developers and publisher partners,” said Naveen Tewari, Founder and CEO at InMobi.

The Metaflow team will become an integral part of InMobi’s developer oriented efforts, led by Piyush Shah, VP and GM of Developer Platforms and Performance Advertising at InMobi. Piyush adds, “With the recent acquisition of MMTG Labs, along with today’s acquisition of Metaflow, we will augment our value proposition by offering highly compelling distribution, monetisation, and engagement solutions to app developers globally.”

“At Metaflow, our mission has been to simplify and unify the complex process surrounding content management and deployment of apps to a distributed and highly fragmented marketplace. The global reach and technology backbone provided by InMobi is hugely exciting for us. InMobi provides app developers with even greater opportunities to acquire millions of users and monetise their exciting apps,” said Charles McLeod, CEO at Metaflow Solutions.

The Metaflow Solutions team will relocate to the new InMobi London office.

About InMobi

InMobi is the largest independent mobile advertising network. With offices on five continents InMobi provides advertisers, publishers and developers with a uniquely global solution for advertising. The network is growing and now delivers the unprecedented ability to reach 578 million consumers, in over 165 countries, through billions of ad impressions every single day.

InMobi is venture-backed by investors including: SoftBank, KleinerPerkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. The company has offices in Bangalore, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.

To learn more, please visit www.inmobi.com, follow us on Twitter @InMobi, or read our blog at www.inmobi.com/inmobiblog/.

About Metaflow Solutions

Metaflow provides the industry’s standard distribution solution for stocking mobile content into more than 240 mobile sales channels and portals, encapsulating all of the submissions requirements, devices and ingestion mechanisms for all major revenue generating channels in every corner of the world. For more information, please visit: www.metaflow.com