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Twitter sells mobile ad unit for triple its original value

The sale will allow the tech giant to focus on its plans of doubling its revenue in 2023 to $7.5 billion

Mobile phone with website of US mobile technology company AppLovin Corp. on screen with logo

Twitter is selling its mobile advertising unit for $1.05 billion – three times the amount paid when it was acquired in 2013.

MoPub, which is currently used by 45,000 mobile apps for monetisation management, was bought by Twitter in 2013 for $350 million in stock. Eight years later, the monetisation solutions provider is being acquired once again, this time by AppLovin, following a unanimous approval by Twitter's board.

Founded in 2012, AppLovin is a mobile technology company which already owns mobile advertising, marketing, and analytics platforms MAX, AppDiscovery, and SparkLabs, as well as mobile games publishing and marketing business Lion Studios.

A pandemic success story, last year’s lockdown-induced video game boom saw AppLovin’s 2020 revenue skyrocket 46% to $1.45 billion. The company states that 49% of its revenue comes from businesses using its software and 51% from consumers making in-app purchases, according to CNBC.

MoPub will help AppLovin bolster its mobile advertising reach with an additional estimate of 1.5 billion addressable users worldwide. Its product features will be integrated into AppLovin’s own existing platform, according to the company.

The sale will also allow Twitter to invest in "the core products that position it for long-term growth," according to CEO Jack Dorsey, and build on existing plans of doubling its revenue in 2023 to $7.5 billion, which it announced earlier this year.

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"The sale of MoPub positions us to concentrate more of our efforts on the massive potential for ads on our website and in our apps," added Twitter CFO Ned Segal.

The news comes six months after AppLovin became a public company, currently trading at $77 per share. Prior to that, the company acquired German app distribution and analytics company Adjust for $1 billion in cash and stock.

Twitter’s sale of MoPub is likely influenced by Apple’s decision to make it more difficult for digital advertisers to track users on iOS devices by allowing users to decide whether they consent to tracking. The move was heavily citicised by Facebook, which accused Apple of “trying to move the free internet into paid apps and services where they profit”.

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