Mobile ad network and Indian unicorn InMobi paid $90 million for mobile video monetization platform AerServ in a bid to build a header bidding solution for apps.

The deal, announced Wednesday, will bring together their respective programmatic exchanges to create “fair auction dynamics for in the in-app space,” said Abhay Singhal, InMobi’s CRO and co-founder.

“Our publishers have been asking for this,” Singhal said. “They want more control rather than the black box they get from most of the large in-app mediation platforms.”

Although header bidding has become de rigueur for desktop, most mobile app publishers still rely on a waterfall setup.

That’s only natural, Singhal said. The in-app environment presents unique challenges to creating a unified programmatic auction, including the need to run auctions through software development kits (SDKs) rather than headers, which don’t exist in apps.

“We’re seeing an evolution,” Singhal said. “Almost anything that gets developed in this industry comes to the mobile web ecosystem first, and then we see it come to apps.”

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