Search giant Google has led a $145 million round in InMobi’s mobile-first content platform Glance. Existing investor Mithril Capital also participated in fresh financing.
While InMobi hasn’t revealed its valuation, Entrackr sources indicate that the company has been valued $1 billion. Glance became a unicorn in less than two years. Ola Electric, Paytm Mall and b2b e-commerce platform Udaan also acquired unicorn status in two years of their inception.
According to Glance, the fresh proceeds will be deployed towards investments in artificial intelligence and to facilitate its global expansion starting with Southeast Asia, Latin American and the United States. In the Southeast Asian market, Glance is present in 15 countries including Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and will expand to Brazil next year.
Last year, InMobi had raised $45 million for its flagship product from US-based venture capital firm Mithril. At present, the firm claims that it has surpassed 115 million daily active users or DAU, largely in India, who spend an average of 25 minutes on the platform daily.
The B2C subsidiary of InMobi had crossed 50 million DAU in August 2019 and 100 million DAU mark in May, this year. Glance makes a lock-screen platform that helps users see personalized content on the display while their phones are locked.
The content at Glance ranges between 10 seconds and two minutes long and includes everything from news to short videos to single-player games. The platform has tied up with over 1,000 media and agencies and smartphone makers such as Samsung and Xiaomi to pre-install Glance in their popular model.
In July 2019, Glance was created as a separate entity of InMobi. Along with Glance, InMobi holds two more subsidiaries under the umbrella entity– advertising technology under InMobi UMC and data business TruFactor.
To beef up its positioning in the segment, the Naveen Tewari-led company also acquired video-sharing platform Roposo in November 2019. Currently, Roposo has more than 33 million monthly active users with an average time spent of 20 minutes. Roposo content is available across multiple genres and in more than 10 vernacular languages.
The investment from Google in Glance comes at a time when the company was reportedly in talks to acquire social media startup ShareChat. Like Glance-owned Roposo, ShareChat also launched its video-sharing platform called Moj. Ever since the ban of TikTok in India, Moj and MX TakaTak have been growing rapidly among homegrown companies in the video-sharing space.