Mobile ad firm InMobi buys British context-aware mobile technology company Overlay Media

Mobile ad firm InMobi buys British context-aware mobile technology company Overlay Media

Fast-growing mobile advertising company InMobi has acquired Bristol, UK-based Overlay Media, which is billed as an ‘expert in context-aware computing’.

The Overlay Media team will henceforth work out of InMobi’s EMEA HQ in London. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Overlay Media’s team of data scientists, some of whom completed relevant PhDs at the University of Bristol, have built what they call ‘Context Engine’, which features technology that enables the delivery of relevant personalized content to mobile users.

From the website description:

The Overlay Media context engine has been built to enable personal, context-aware user experiences.

For example, the mobile device can, upon detecting that the user is travelling in a car, automatically provide information to the user via synthesized voice e.g. read out incoming SMS messages.

Or when the user nears their home, the mobile device can pre-fetch content that the user regularly views at that location e.g. Facebook content. Alternatively, the mobile device can deactivate services that are not used when performing specific activities e.g. turn off Bluetooth when the user is sat in their office.

Needless to say, this was likely a relatively small talent and technology acquisition, although you can easily see how mobile advertising companies can benefit from such technology.

Context being king etcetera.

Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO at InMobi, says:

“We are excited to add amazing talent to InMobi. This acquisition, along with Metaflow Solutions and MMTG Labs, will help us to continue to be at the forefront of delivering highly engaging content to consumers globally.”

Indeed, InMobi is on a bit of a buying spree of late, snapping up companies like MMTG Labs – which will cease operations next month – and Metaflow in 2012 to stay ahead of the curve.

That said, InMobi was recently forced to shut down its regional offices in Africa and Russia due to slow uptake and low sales performance.

Nonetheless, InMobi says advertisers and agencies can now use its platforms to create HTML5 rich media ads (for which it acquired Sprout in August 2011) and engage 578 million consumers across 165 countries.

The company is financially backed by international investors such as SoftBank, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures.

Also read:

Mobile ad firm Jumptap raises $27.5m from WPP, others; preps for an IPO

With 110 million monthly users, Tapjoy connects its billionth device to its mobile advertising platform

OneSpot raises $1.5 million to redefine Web banner advertising using rich-media and social

Image credit: Thinkstock

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