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This article was published on September 24, 2014

    Science Inc. acquires the PlayHaven ad network from Upsight

    Science Inc. acquires the PlayHaven ad network from Upsight
    Josh Ong
    Story by

    Josh Ong

    Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

    Science Inc., an LA-based group that invests in and builds media and ecommerce companies, has announced the acquisition of mobile gaming ad network PlayHaven from the Upsight analytics service.

    Upsight was created earlier this year as the product of a merger between PlayHaven and Kontagent. Now, the company has decided to shed the advertising side in order to focus on Kontagent’s marketing business.

    Andy Yang, Upsight’s CEO, outlined two main reasons for the decision to sell off the ad network: focus and neutrality. Upsight has benefitted from the combination of PlayHaven’s marketing tools and Kontagent, and now it’s ready to go all-in on its analytics roadmap.

    “We need to be a neutral party,” Yang said. “Having our own ad network introduces some conflicts of interests.”

    Science Inc. and Upsight will continue to work together for the long-term, as both parties will be able to send their clients to the other for analytics or monetization help. “We see this as the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership,” Yang said.

    While Upsight will take a short-term hit in profits by selling off its ad network, the company will now only have to deal with a single business model. The lump sum from Science will be invested back into Upsight’s product as it expands to verticals beyond gaming.

    “We felt keeping the ad network was going to continue to slow us down,” Yang said. “Long-term this is much better for us financially than the structure we had previously.”

    On Science’s end, the startup studio brings in-house another component that it needs for its companies. PlayHaven will merge with Science’s existing ChirpAds business as it eyes how to improve distribution and behavioral targeting for its portfolio. PlayHaven also benefits from having a largely millennial user base, a demographic that Science has gone after aggressively with companies like Dollar Shave Club.

    Image credit: Tischenko Irina / Shutterstock