Bengaluru-based unicorn InMobi’s content platform Glance has raised $45 Mn in a fresh funding round from Mithril Capital. Austin-headquartered Mithril Capital is a growth-stage investment firm cofounded by Silicon Valley investors Ajay Royan and Peter Thiel.
With this funding, Ajay Royan from Mithril Capital has joined the board of Glance.
The funds will help Glance to launch multiple new platforms, including Glance TV – a mobile-first, short-form video platform; Glance Gaming – a destination for casual gamers; Glance Shopping, where content meets commerce; and Glance Nearby – a hyperlocal experiential platform.
The company will also use the funds to expand into Southeast Asia in the coming months.
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Founded in 2007 by Naveen Tewari, Piyush Shah, Abhay Singhal, Mohit Saxena, and Amit Gupta, InMobi is an adtech platform. The company has three subsidiaries: InMobi UMC, TruFactor and Glance.
Glance had been under works since 2015 and trials began in 2018. Glance brings artificial intelligence-driven, personalised content to screen zero of smartphones. Every time a user wakes up their phone, their lock screen comes alive with new visual and interactive content that is personalized for them.
Glance has partnered with all the leading Android phone makers in India to deliver a universal screen zero experience. As of August 2019, Glance claims to have more than 50 Mn daily active users who spend 22 minutes per day on Glance.
Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO, InMobi Group said, “Glance is changing the landscape of content consumption to address the demands of the ‘attention economy’ we currently live in. By bringing discovery and consumption of personalized, short-form content to screen zero, Glance provides the immediacy and accessibility that consumers want.”
Designed with a mobile and video-first approach, Glance is currently available in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu in India, and Bahasa in Indonesia. The company claims to have 150 Bn glances a month across 19 content categories.
Ajay Royan, managing general partner and cofounder of Mithril Capital said, “We share Glance’s global vision of breaking through the constraints of application architectures and linguistic markets to deliver rich, frictionless, and engaging experiences across a myriad of cultures and languages.”
According to a September 2018 report by IDC, in spite of ongoing intense mergers and acquisitions activity, the global advertising software market is still highly fragmented. The top 15 vendors represented less than 40% of the overall market in 2017 with a multitude of small, specialised vendors with limited revenue making up the rest.
The overall market for advertising software is said to have grown at 38% year over year from $9.2 Bn in 2016 to $12.7 Bn in 2017.