Mobile Ad Exchange Mobclix In Acquisition Talks

We’ve heard from multiple sources that mobile ad exchange Mobclix, which launched at TechCrunch50 in 2008, is in late-stage talks to be acquired. According to our sources, investment bank Allen & Co. is brokering the deal and the buyer is a public company. We’ve contacted Mobclix co-founder Krishna Subramanian who wouldn’t comment on whether his company will be acquired.

Mobclix’s exchange allows app developers to sign up with their ad inventory and ad networks, like Millennial Media and Jumptap, bid for the spots based on age, gender, location, and other factors. The ads being served change automatically, based on which ad network is bidding the highest to reach the users of that particular app. The startup also lets advertisers buy across a variety of apps based on demographic, geo-targeting, and behavioral characteristics. And Mobclix offers analytics via a recent acquisition of Heartbeat.

We’ve heard that Apple And Microsoft were sniffing around the startup but neither seems to be a likely acquirer. Apple already shored up their mobile ad efforts with the acquisition of Quattro Wireless. Microsoft just announced a partnership with Mobclix this past week and a few other ad networks to form an exchange for Windows 7 phones.

Still, Mobclix could be an attractive target to a technology or media company who is looking to buy a mobile ad exchange but doesn’t want to pay a high price (i.e. Google’s $750 million acquisition of AdMob). RIM is apparently looking for a mobile ad network as well. And you can’t rule out HP, who has been on an acquisition tear. Another possible buyer could be an large advertising company who wants to add a mobile ad exchange in house.