Google, Mithril Capital infuse $145 mn in InMobi subsidiary

Google, Mithril Capital infuse $145 mn in InMobi subsidiary
Naveen Tewari, CEO of Glance  |  Photo Credit: InMobi
22 Dec, 2020

Glance Digital Experience, a subsidiary of mobile advertising services provider InMobi, has raised $145 million from Google and returning investor Mithril Capital. 

The fresh funding round reportedly values the Bengaluru-based company at over $1 billion. However, the firm refused to comment on the valuation to TechCircle

Glance last raised $45 million from Peter Thiel-backed Mithril Capital in September 2019, months after it was hived off as a separate subsidiary by SoftBank-backed InMobi in early 2019. 

Including the latest round, Glance has raised a total of $190 million, as per VCCEdge data.

With the fresh funds, Glance looks to deepen its AI capabilities, expand its technology team and drive global expansion, apart from launching services on the platform, a statement said. This could potentially take Glance into the category of ‘super apps’, which bundle multiple services on a common interface. 

Glance provides locked-screen content on partner Android smartphone devices in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, as well as Bahasa in Indonesia. It claims to have about 115 million daily active users on the platform. It uses AI-powered personalization to deliver content every time a user wakes up the screen. 

In 2019, Glance acquired Tiger Global-backed short video content provider Roposo to offer Indian language content on the lock screen, apart from other forms of content across entertainment, sports, fashion and news. 

“Glance is a great example of innovation solving for mobile-first and mobile-only consumption, serving content across many of India’s local languages,” Caesar Sengupta, vice president at Google, said in the statement. 

“Too many Indians have trouble finding content to read or services they can use confidently, in their own language. And this significantly limits the value of the internet for them, particularly at a time like this when the internet is the lifeline of so many people. This investment underlines our strong belief in working with India’s innovative startups towards the shared goal of building a truly inclusive digital economy that will benefit everyone,” he said.

The investment was made from the $10 billion Google for Indian Digitalization Fund announced in July, $4.5 billion of which was invested in Jio Platforms.

InMobi was founded in 2007 by Naveen Tewari, Piyush Shah, Abhay Singal, Mohit Saxena and Amit Gupta. Saxena left the company to set up luxury travel-marketplace Rizort while Gupta went on to set up a shared mobility platform, Yulu. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Google as a strategic investor in Glance and Roposo. With two of the largest digital content platforms in the country, we have taken the lead in making the digital economy accessible for the next billion users in India and globally,” Naveen Tewari, CEO of Glance and InMobi Group, said in the statement.