Twitter on Wednesday announced that it was selling its mobile advertising network MoPub to game developer and ad-tech company AppLovin for $1.05-billion in cash.
According to Reuters, the social media juggernaut bought MoPub in September 2013 for about $350-million. Meaning that this recent sale has netted Twitter around $700-million in profits, not adjusting for inflation.
Currently, Twitter says it is focusing on its core business by accelerating the development of new products and features en route to achieving its goal of doubling its revenue in 2023 to $7.5-billion, of which this $700-million injection will be a sizeable chunk.
“This transaction increases our focus and demonstrates confidence in our revenue product roadmap, accelerating our ability to invest in the core products that position Twitter for long-term growth and best serve the public conversation,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in a statement, seen by CNBC.
MoPub generated $188-million in annual revenue for the Blue Bird last year. MoPub allows other companies to keep track of ad inventory in real-time, similar to Google’s DoubleClick service. Twitter may have also been trying to cut loose MoPub after Apple launched its iOS version 14.5 in April 2021 which makes it harder for advertisers to track user activity on their iPhones and iPads.
iOS 14.5’s new App Tracking Transparency framework has had major implications for the way that mobile advertisers operate, and Twitter may have felt that MoPub’s business could become a liability going forward.
Twitter’s sale of MoPub is another in a series of deals for privately held tech firms in 2021, which include the sales of podcast app Breaker and email newsletter startup Revue.
This latest sale to AppLovin was apparently unanimously approved by Twitter’s board.
AppLovin is a mobile gaming developer with a hefty portfolio of over 200 free-to-play mobile games, which include titles such as Word Connect, Slap Kings and Bingo Story.
The company went public in April of this year and saw its shares rise by 9% in extending trading on Wednesday, while Twitter’s shares also rose by 2% to $62.57.