InMobi raises $200 mn from Japan’s Softbank

InMobi raises $200 mn from Japan’s Softbank

Mobile advertising firm InMobi raised $200 million from Japan’s Softbank Corp, the latest start-up in the fast-growing mobile advertising market to get such funding.

The company, founded in 2007, calls itself the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network with the ability to reach 340 million customers in over 165 countries.

Advertisers are betting big on the mobile market, which gives them the ability to pinpoint a customer’s location and serve targeted ads, but small screen sizes and privacy concerns have acted as deterrents.

The sector got a major boost from Google Inc’s acquisition of mobile ad firm AdMob late in 2009, and Apple Inc’s Quattro Wireless buy, worth $275 million.

The partnership will help Softbank become the number one internet company in Asia, chief executive officer (CEO) Masayoshi Son said in a statement.

Softbank, Japan’s third-largest wireless carrier, controls 42% in Yahoo Japan. Yahoo Inc owns a 35% stake in the unit.

InMobi, based in Bangalore, India, had previously raised about $15 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures.