Smaato, San Francisco-based real-time ad tech platform, announced this Friday that they have reached an agreement with China’s Spearhead Integrated Marketing Communication Group for a full acquisition valued at $148 million USD.

According to a company statement, the deal, which is still subject to final regulatory approvals, will be conducted through an M&A fund backed by one of Spearhead’s fully-owned subsidiaries.

As one of the world’s leading real-time bidding and supply side platforms (SSP) for mobile advertising, the 11-year-old startup claims to have a combined reach of more than one billion mobile users.

China’s booming mobile ad market has long been a strategic focus for Smaato. In a previous interview with TechNode, the company’s CEO Ragnar Kruse detailed the company’s plans for China hinted at a local partner  for their entry. The deal will give Spearhead a pool of resources to fuel a global expansion, while Smaato will be able to finally tap the Chinese market with a well-established local partner.

“This collaboration creates enormous new opportunities for both partners. Spearhead brings to Smaato not only its expertise and a trusted partnership but opens up the Chinese market for us,” said Smaato CEO and co-founder Ragnar Kruse said in a statement. “Smaato allows Spearhead to expand very quickly outside of China.”

Despite the advantages brought about by the collaboration, the company still have to compete against a slew of rising local competitors like Mobvisa, which acquired NativeX for $24.5 million USD this February.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.

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