It’s being reported that Yahoo Japan has acquired Cirius, a provider of location-based mobile advertising, who’s flagship product — AdLocal — was born in Cirius’ US office in Sunnyvale, California.
AdLocal makes it possible to reach consumers with ads that take into account the physical location of users via GPS, Cell-IDs, map coordinates and other data. This along with over 30 innovative employees is what Yahoo was after, though it’s still an interesting move for Yahoo, which is Japan’s largest Website.
Not much is known outside the fact that Cirius will close its office in the US and move its HQ to that of Yahoo Japan’s. Could it be that AdLocal’s technology was a bit ahead of its time in the US? It launched in the US back in December of 2009, but had been around in Japan since 2006 where it commanded the largest share of location-based advertising in Japan’s then $1 billion mobile ad space. Yahoo likely saw the traction AdLocal already had in the Japanese market and decided to leverage it.
I see this as a start to a mad dash of acquisitions in the LBS space. Being further ahead of the US in terms of uptake of new-age mobile concepts, it’s already starting to happen in Japan. Things are just now starting to heat up in the US, but this acquisition is definitely a sign of things to come.