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Exclusive: InMobi in talks to acquire social media app Roposo

InMobi is all set to make its tenth acquisition. Video-sharing platform Roposo is in advanced talks to consolidate with mobile marketing and advertising firm InMobi, according to four Entrackr sources. This comes as Roposo has been struggling to raise money over the last few months.  

“The two companies have been engaged in conversations for the transaction for about six weeks,” said sources, on condition of anonymity. “The structure of the deal has already been finalised and likely to get materialised in the next few days.” 

Entrackr couldn’t immediately ascertain the contours of the deal, sources say it will be a distress sale for Roposo, which has been struggling to raise money. 

“The overall size of the deal is less than $20 million and will mostly consists of stocks,” added the sources cited above.

Roposo has gone through a few pivots since its inception in 2014. The Tiger Global-backed company started off a fashion-focused social network after which it changed its course to become a digital TV platform in 2017. The fresh direction of the company was also welcomed by Tiger Global, which poured in $5 million in May this year. 

However, Roposo has failed to attract fresh investors to raise a larger funding round, in an environment where funding activity has been fairly active. This inability to score a significant funding round pushed it to explore merger and acquisition possibilities. 

InMobi and Roposo did not respond to queries while publishing the story. We will update once the responses come in.

Founded by IIT-Delhi graduates Mayank Bhangadia, Avinash Saxena and Kaushal Shubhank, Roposo has raised a total of about $32 million from Tiger Global, Bertelsmann and others across five institutional rounds. Roposo runs multiple channels on its platform in several local languages similar to that of a television. 

The firm recently claimed to have around 42 million users. It also said the platform had around 7.5 million user-generated posts and 5.5 billion video views per month. But, as short-video app TikTok continues to grow in India with its parent ByteDance’s seemingly unending supply of funds, other social media apps are finding it difficult to keep up. 

“A company like ByteDance which has a deep war chest of $10 billion versus a VC with a $20-50 million cheque – it’s an uneven and a difficult fight,” said a venture capitalist, requesting anonymity. “While Roposo has shown good performance numbers, no investor wants to back a ByteDance-competitor.”

It is unclear on how Roposo would add value to InMobi. The SoftBank-backed venture runs a video advertising solution called InMobi Pulse, which is likely to be bolstered by the Roposo platform. InMobi Pulse helps companies connect with consumers and capture data to map out user behaviour.

InMobi has been an active acquirer over the last few years with most of them being in the mobile advertising and marketing space. Roposo would be its first acquisition in the consumer internet space.

Prior to this, InMobi has made 9 acquisitions with the latest one being a US-based mobile video advertising start-up AerServ for $90 million in a cash-and-stock deal. 

InMobi was founded in 2007 by Naveen Tewari, Mohit Saxena, Amit Gupta and Abhay Singhal, and is considered to be one of the first unicorns in the Indian start-up ecosystem.


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