Google led a $ 145 million investment in InMobi’s social media startups Glance and Roposo, divisions of InMobi’s mobile app marketing business.
The deal is a boost to the Indian tech market, where InMobi and several other unicorns (startups worth a billion dollars or more) have appeared in recent years.
Glance is creating a lock screen platform that allows users to view personalized content on the display while their phones are locked. InMobi founded the social startup as a separate department in March 2019 and acquired Roposo, a social media platform for video sharing, in November 2019.
The money comes from Google’s India Digitalization Fund, which is the largest investor in the round at $ 100 million. Existing Glance investor Mithril Partners also attended.
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Glance is an AI-powered lock feed platform that delivers personalized content in multiple languages - including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Bahasa – on the lock screen of Android smartphones. Glances Lockfeed provides trending content for entertainment, sports, fashion, news, and other content categories in a visual format that is easy to view.
Glance will use the money to expand its technology team, launch new services on the platform, strengthen the brand and drive expansion in key markets in Asia and the US
Google Vice President Caesar Sengupta said in a statement that too many Indians are still struggling to find content to read or services they can safely use in their own language. This cuts the value of the internet significantly to these users, especially this year when the internet becomes a lifeline for so many people, Sengupta said.
Glance has more than 115 million daily active users who spend 25 minutes a day on its platform. This makes it one of the largest digital consumer platforms in the world.
Roposo is India’s short video platform with more than 33 million monthly active users who spend 20 minutes a day consuming content in multiple genres in more than 10 languages. The Roposo app had been downloaded more than 103 million times from the Google Play Store by November 2020. It is probably no coincidence that Roposo is now successful, as China’s TikTok app has been banned due to tension between the two countries.
The InMobi Group focuses on advertising, marketing, data and content platforms. Both Glance and Roposo are based in Bengaluru, India, while InMobi is headquartered in San Francisco and Bengaluru. InMobi employs over 1,400 people worldwide and Glance has 400 employees.