Ad-tech unicorn InMobi may power ads for Microsoft's search engine Bing

Ad-tech unicorn InMobi may power ads for Microsoft's search engine Bing
Photo Credit: Creative Commons
28 Jun, 2018

Tech giant Microsoft may rope in Indian ad-tech unicorn InMobi to power advertisements on its search engine Bing as it looks to attract more users to its mobile platform, according to a report in The Economic Times.

The development comes two days after the two companies had announced a partnership that will see Microsoft using InMobi’s marketing insights for customers of its cloud offering, Azure.

InMobi, which is backed Japanese investment giant SoftBank, claims to be the largest independent mobile advertising platform with a reach of more than 1.5 billion mobile users.

Google and Facebook control the majority of the internet advertisement market, especially on mobile platforms.

Microsoft India president Anant Maheshwari was quoted as saying that the firm will leverage InMobi's capabilities - including for Bing - and added that the conversations were still ongoing.

Microsoft customers using its software could buy media using InMobi, the Indian firm’s founder and chief executive Naveen Tewari was quoted as saying.

With search going mobile and becoming increasingly voice-based, Microsoft is looking to cut into the market share of Google, Amazon and Apple.

Its success with Azure's artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities have encouraged Microsoft to take the fight to its rivals.

InMobi, which has around 40,000-50,000 enterprise customers, enables companies to gather insights on its customer base thereby helping them gauge marketing possibilities.

Earlier this year, InMobi had acquired Los Angeles-based AerServ, which deals with inventory and audience monetisation technology for mobile publishers, for $90 million (around Rs 574 crore) in cash and stock.

Amid declining revenues, InMobi was hoping that the acquisition would boost monetisation for publishers globally and enhance its premium mobile platform, InMobi Exchange.

InMobi Pte Ltd’s revenue marginally dropped to $280 million in the financial year 2016-17 from the $283 million it reported in the previous fiscal. India's first unicorn is yet to turn in a full fiscal year profit till date.

Founded as mKhoj in 2007 by Tewari, Amit K Gupta, Abhay Singhal and Mohit Saxena, the company has seen several executives put in their papers over the past year.