Softbank bets $US200m on mobile ad network
InMobi scores biggest VC deal of the year
The world’s largest indie mobile advertising network InMobi has received a $US200 million cash infusion from Japan’s Softbank.
The transaction represents one of the biggest venture capital deals of the year and eclipses all mobile VC investments. InMobi, which launched in 2007, claims it can currently serve ads on 340 million mobile phones in 165 countries.
The deal will be split in two payments of $US100 million each, one this month and the other in April 2012.
InMobi says it will remain fully independent in its expansion phase. The investment will be used to fund R&D and acquisition in addition to expanding operations and hiring more staff in North America, China, Korea and Europe. InMobi currently employs 350 people in offices across 15 countries.
In August, InMobi acquired mobile media builder Sprout and has launched a new mobile payments product called SmartPay to rival Google Wallet.
“The size of the investment and quality of investor validate the enormous potential in mobile today and strengthen our role in helping the industry evolve. With a global leader like Softbank behind us, we are now well positioned to fully capitalize on the opportunity before us through substantially increased product innovation, deeper market penetration, and acquisitions across the mobile ad value chain,” said Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO of InMobi.
Softbank joins existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures.
Global mobile ad spending is forecast to hit $US20.6 billion by 2015, up from $US1.6 billion last year, according to Gartner, with the Asia-Pacific and Japan expected drive spending. ®
Ads? On phones?
No ads here. Thank gawd/ess. I have no idea what the mindset of marketards is ... I mean, seriously, get into people's faces & annoy them in an attempt to sell your product and/or service to them? Surely that's counter-productive. When I want cheese or Levis[tm] or a new grill or a new deep-well pump, I know how and where to find them. It ain't exactly rocket science.
I'm going to cry when I can no longer get parts to keep my nearly 11 year old Nokia going ... and I'll probably stop carrying a phone altogether if I'm forced to see adverts on it's inevitable replacement. I got along just fine before 1983 without mobile devices, and then again throughout most of the 90s when I refused to carry one (I didn't want an electronic leash).Mobile devices are hardly necessary to life.