March 12, 2014

Perion in talks to acquire AirPush

Israeli software company Perion is in talks to purchase mobile advertising platform Airpush, reports TechCrunch. While neither company will confirm the details of the deal, an unnamed source told the website that it may be valued at $170 million. 

Perion is creator of several consumer brands including Incredimail, Smilebox and SweetIM as well as some B2B marketing services. Last year, the company merged with Conduit, a firm that, for a while, was Israel's largest internet company. The purpose of the technology merger was to boost Conduit's popular Client Connect toolbar business. 

Airpush has also been involved in a recent acquisition. In October 2013, the company purchased Hubbl, a mobile application maker for $15 million. Based in Los Angeles, Airpush is a logical addition to Perion's other offerings. 

While in the past Perion has been a more consumer-driven company, it may change its focus to small businesses. The company's current acquisition strategy seems to be targeted at obtaining more tools for monetizing websites and apps. It has also been reported that Perion developers who had been working on consumer-facing programs have been reassigned to other projects. 

Airpush's software places ads on mobile applications. Even talks about possible mergers are somewhat surprising as multiple news outlets reported last year that the startup was considering filing an IPO sometime in 2014. 

It's possible that Airpush's decision to pursue a merger stems from major changes that it was forced to make to its business model. In the past it created push-based Android ads, but Google announced last year that developers could no longer use this approach, which it considered to be "spammy." The company may have problems reaching revenue targets because of this policy.