The four-year old Bengaluru and San Francisco-based mobile ad network company InMobi, which recently acquired the US-based mobile advertising solutions provider Sprout, has raised US$200 million (Rs 950 crore) funding from Softbank Corp. As per the official communique, Softbank will provide Rs 475 crore in September, and the rest of the amount will be transferred to InMobi in April 2012.
Softbank is a Japan-based telecommunication and media company which started its operation in 1981 and now deals in mobile communications (mobile phone service provider), broadband infrastructure, fixed-line telecommunications and the internet. In 2006, it acquired Vodafone Japan, and later rebranded it as SoftBank Mobile. In 2008, it tied up with Apple to launch Iphone in the Japanese market. In August, Softbank announced that it will offload its minority stake (about 4 per cent) in Yahoo!.
In a press statement, Naveen Tewari, founder and chief executive officer, InMobi, says, "The size of the investment and quality of investor validate the enormous potential in the mobile industry today, and strengthen our role in helping the industry evolve. We have already established ourselves as a leader in mobile advertising in every continent. This is just the beginning. With a global leader like Softbank behind us, we are now well-positioned to fully capitalise on the opportunity before us through substantially increased product innovation, deeper market penetration, and acquisitions across the mobile ad value chain."
InMobi claims that its mobile ad network is capable of delivering ads to about 340 million consumers, across 165 countries. It serves more than 47 billion mobile ad impressions monthly. The company has offices in San Francisco, London, Bengaluru, Tokyo, Nairobi, and Singapore.