For the last 5 years, our vision has been to offer every important piece of functionality and service that a mobile app developer needs to be successful. The analogy I like to use is a mobile app developer is like a restauranteur and should focus on providing the best ambiance and food for their customers. There is no need to build your own stoves, fridges, and ovens. That's what Upsight is here for. Two years ago, Kontagent and PlayHaven merged to combine the market leaders in mobile analytics (the fridge to store your food) and marketing automation (an oven to cook it) to form Upsight as a big step towards that vision. Today we are pleased to announce that we have made another major leap forward with the acquisition of Fuse Powered and their industry-leading mobile SSP/mediation platform. This is our stove.
As with the initial merger, this acquisition came together organically based on listening to the needs of our customers. Here are the common themes we heard when they came to us regarding ad mediation:
1. Breaking down data silos - The first and most common request was being able to build a two-way connection between Upsight's platform and their current SSP. Our customers send us a massive amount of data, which is a big reason why we collect orders of magnitude more of data than our competitors, to help them gain a deep understanding of their users across their entire lifecycle from acquisition to engagement to monetization. However, they were not able to get the full picture given that we could only measure their commerce/IAP revenue and couldn't complete the total revenue picture without combining that with ad monetization data.
2. Taking action - Then once they had the insight, the next request was to be able to leverage Upsight's industry-best segmentation and targeting capabilities to directly control which users would see ads and at what frequency. Our marketing automation tools allow our customers to directly impact retention, engagement, and commerce monetization through personalized messaging on a per user level and wanted to be able to do this with ad monetization as well. Then of course loop back to #1 to measure impact and continue to optimize and close the loop as quickly as possible.
3. Neutrality - Many of our customers were not comfortable with the idea that their SSP/mediation provider also had their own ad networks/exchanges which introduces issues around neutrality. Are they really getting the best performance possible given that their current provider has an incentive to direct more traffic to their own network?
4. Simplicity - Too many SDKs, too many relationships to mange, and too many data sources to have to pull together into one place. I'm sure anyone reading this would agree with this pain point. Could Upsight help simplify my life?
5. Agility - All of the points above represent a desire to be able to gain a quick understanding and making changes as quickly as possible. With all of the current walls in place, it's really hard to stay quick on your feet and adapt to what is a very rapidly changing market. The ground we all collectively stand on being in mobile is constantly shifting underneath us and being able to react and make the right decisions is probably the most critical aspect of being successful.
As we set out to solve these pain points, we went through a fairly standard process of evaluating whether to build, partner, or buy. After surveying the market and exploring partnerships with various companies in the space, both big and small, the only company we could find that would fit all of the needs of our customers was Fuse Powered. First, they were the only provider in the space that has remained completely neutral. They do not have their own ad network so they can help their customers, and just as importantly their ad network partners, find the best performance possible without any conflicts of interest. The second important piece is they are the only solution in the space that does the heavy lifting on wrapping the SDKs of other ad networks into their own so that the customer doesn't have to worry about it. This requires heavy investment, but all towards the goal of making the lives of their customers more simple.
It became rapidly clear that both companies shared a core principle of doing everything in our power to make the lives of our customers more simple and to stay purely aligned to help them succeed. The conversation quickly evolved from a commercial partnership to a strategic relationship and we couldn't be more excited to welcome Fuse to the Upsight family.
We are now working furiously to integrate our two SDKs and platforms and in fact it will be available in February. We will not be making any changes to existing business models for either Upsight or Fuse or the level of service to our customers. Some of Fuse's competitors have been trying to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) to their customers by stating that we will now be forcing people to the Upsight SaaS business model or shutting down ad mediation. Neither have any shred of reality and we will prove it through our actions and not words.
Much more to come!