Google led a $ 145 million investment in InMobi’s social media startups Glance and Roposo, the InMobi Group’s mobile app marketing business.
The deal is a boost to the Indian tech market, which has seen several unicorns (like InMobi Group itself) or startups worth a billion dollars or more worth appearing in 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. The InMobi Group founded the social startup in March 2019 as a separate department and InMobi acquired Roposo, a social media platform for video sharing, in November 2019.
The money comes from Google’s India Digitalization Fund. Mithril Partners, the existing investor in Glance, is also investing.
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Photo credit: Blick
Glance is an AI-controlled lock feed platform that provides personalized content in multiple languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Bahasa on the lock screen of Android smartphones. Glances Lockfeed delivers trending content for entertainment, sports, fashion, news and other categories of content 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
Caesar Sengupta, vice president at Google, 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. And that limits the value of the internet significantly to them, especially at a time like this when the internet is the lifeline of so many people, Sengupta said.
Glance has more than 115 million daily active users who spend 25 minutes a day on it. 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 has been downloaded more than 103 million times from the Google Play Store since November 2020. It is probably no coincidence that it is thriving now, 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. Blick has 400 people. Both Glance and Roposo are based in Bengaluru, India, while InMobi is headquartered in San Francisco and Bengaluro. The InMobi Group employs over 1,400 people worldwide.