Science Inc. just announced that it has acquired mobile ad network PlayHaven from mobile analytics and marketing company Upsight. Science CEO Mike Jones (pictured above) told me that the PlayHaven team will join Science, merge with its Chirp Ads unit and, under the firm's "startup studio" model, become an independently operating company based in San Francisco. (In fact, it will be LA-headquartered Science's first major presence in the Bay Area.) While Jones said he expects PlayHaven to "show great returns and great growth" on its own, he also thinks other Science companies can use it to make monetize their mobile apps. To reinforce his his claim that PlayHaven offers a "best of breed platform", he pointed to its behavioral targeting capabilities. The ad network apparently includes 18,000 games (including the crazy popular Kim Kardashian game) with 245 million monthly active users. Previously an independent startup, PlayHaven merged with Kontagent at the end of last year, with the combined company eventually rebranding as Upsight. CEO Andy Yang told me that selling off the ad network "kills two birds with one stone" — it allows Upsight to focus on its analytics and monetization platform, and it also allows that platform to remain neutral as it works with a variety of different ad networks. Yang added that the sale was has been part of the company's plans since the merger: "The PlayHaven ad network was not part of our long-term vision." The financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
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