Berlin-Based App Discovery Engine Xyo Acquired By NASDAQ-Listed Mandalay

Creativity cannot be bought or sold. It’s like an atomic particle. It emerges in one place, is held for a while in one entity, but is then moved from one form to another. So it is that one of the most creative startups to emerge from Berlin in recent years has today been acquired.

Mandalay Digital Group, a NASDAQ listed provider of mobile technology, has acquired Xyo, a mobile app search engine which pushed the boundaries on what has been possible in the last few years in contextual advertising for mobile apps. Essentially this is the merger of two companies in the same space, both of which competed with each other. Terms were not disclosed.

XYO’s platform automatically created a taxonomy of 1000-plus micro-categories that are not used in current app stores and which users habitually search on — such as ‘gun games’ — to allow users to find apps in more an intuitive way.

Although no price was released, Xyo’s had taken an undisclosed amount of funding. The company was seed-backed by, amongst others, Signia Venture Partners, Flaregames CEO Klaas Kersting and SoundCloud co-founder Eric Wahlforss.

The founders were Marcin Rudolf (CTO & Co-Founder) who stays on board; Zoe Adamovicz (CEO & Co-founder) who now becomes head of EMEA for Mandalay; and Matthaus Krzykowski (CGO & Co-founder) who is departing the operation to work on new projects.

Digital Turbine will integrate Xyo’s technology into its products to enhance its user app recommendations and in support of its pending deals to deploy its platform with Verizon and Vodafone Australia, as well as its current deployment with T-Mobile USA.

Xyo’s existing mobile operator relationships, including Deutsche Telekom Europe and Vodafone are included in the transaction.

In a statement, Bill Stone, CEO of Digital Turbin said: “There’s a shared vision between both companies on the significant opportunity for operators and OEMs to distribute and monetise mobile content. There is a huge consumer appetite for finding and recommending the right app at the right time, versus wading through thousands of apps in the app store. This presents a significant opportunity for us at a time when our Ignite and IQ products are just beginning to ramp around the globe.”

Five additional Xyo employees, primarily developers, will also join Digital Turbine. All of the new employees are based in Berlin.

“Xyo’s app discovery technology will reach consumers at scale much more quickly. But apps are just a start. Consumers have entered a new age where digital content is personally recommended on their phones,” Adamovicz told us.

Picture courtesy of Venture Village