AppLovin has taken a different approach to startup life than many of its peers, bypassing traditional venture capital entirely and raising a mere $4 million in outside funding since its 2011 founding.
Taking the road less traveled has now proven a wise decision for the mobile marketing platform: Orient Hontai Capital has agreed to acquire the company in a deal valued at $1.4 billion, a unicorn-level price tag without the fundraising frenzy that typically leads to such valuations.
Instead, AppLovin sought out angel investments from industry veterans including Eduardo Vivas, John Burbank and Maynard Webb. It could afford to eschew venture funding due to its sterling financials. The company generated $234 million in revenue in 2015, according to Inc.com, and claims to have been profitable every year of its existence. So far, advertisers are on pace to spend almost $500 million on the AppLovin platform this year, according to the company.
Those are the sorts of underlying numbers that drew interest from Orient Hontai, but the acquirer itself is more mysterious. While a press release on the deal describes Orient Hontai as “a premier private equity investment firm in China,” the firm seems to have little presence on the English-language internet aside from records of its May incorporation as a company in Hong Kong.
AppLovin will maintain its Palo Alto headquarters, as well as its team of roughly 100 employees. The deal is expected to close during 4Q.
Want to know more about AppLovin? Check out its free public profile here.