Skillz to Acquire Aarki to Form First Integrated Esports Advertising Platform

Skillz , the leading mobile games platform bringing fair and fun competition to players worldwide, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Aarki, a leading technology-driven marketing platform. The highly complementary acquisition will broaden Skillz’s footprint across the rapidly expanding mobile gaming industry by combining its competitive platform with Aarki’s advanced advertising capabilities.

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“Aarki’s proven machine learning will pair with Skillz’s robust first-party data to create an unrivaled value proposition for game developers”

Aarki is a growing demand-side platform (DSP) with global scale and a proven track record in the mobile gaming market. Aarki engages in more than five trillion monthly advertising auctions. The company leverages its robust creative services, rich data engines, and proprietary machine learning algorithms to deliver industry-leading ROI for performance advertisers.

“Aarki’s proven machine learning will pair with Skillz’s robust first-party data to create an unrivaled value proposition for game developers,” said Skillz CEO Andrew Paradise. “The integrated ecosystem will unlock new points of connectivity between consumers, developers, and brands, pairing the right impression with the right user at the right time, all while delivering a superior user experience.”

“Joining Skillz will offer tremendous advantages to both the Aarki team and our customer community,” said Aarki CEO Levon Budagyan. “Harnessing the combined power of our data science platforms will further increase our industry-leading performance marketing.”

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Aarki is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA and its approximately 160 employees will join the Skillz workforce, with Budagyan continuing to lead the business as a division of Skillz.

Skillz will acquire 100% of Aarki for approximately $150 million in cash and stock. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

LionTree Advisors served as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to Skillz in the transaction.