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BENGALURU : India’s first startup unicorn, InMobi Pte. Ltd, is gearing up for its public market debut in the US as early as the last quarter of calendar year 2021 at a valuation of about $16 billion, according to two people aware of the discussions.

InMobi Group’s mobile advertising technology entity aims to raise between $800 million and $1.2 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) and may look at Nasdaq for its listing, said one of the persons mentioned above.

InMobi’s listing plan comes at a time when adtech companies such as Pubmatic Inc. have made successful debuts in the US public market.

InMobi’s Singapore-based mobile advertising arm has already had early stage talks with investment bankers and expects to get necessary approvals from its board of directors in the next two weeks. Post this, it will head to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and undertake required approvals to begin the listing process.

“InMobi hasn’t appointed any bankers yet. It could be also readying a SPAC option, considering any unprecedented situation, but the focus is to go public through an IPO," said the first person, asking not to be named.

InMobi may do a secondary share sale to give a partial exit to one of its biggest investors, SoftBank, which invested in the firm in 2010 and has a 42% stake, said the second person mentioned above.

“It makes sense for InMobi to list in the US because adtech will not attract a high valuation in India. A realistic timeframe for a listing may perhaps be early 2022, as globally tech stocks are in retreat and capital is moving back from tech firms to cyclical companies and the scenario has changed in the last couple of months," the second person said. “SoftBank can’t exit in one go. So, there will probably be a secondary share sale round."

InMobi declined to respond to Mint’s queries.

InMobi co-founder and chief executive Naveen Tewari had told Mint in September that the company was looking to issue guidance around its IPO in the coming months.

“Despite covid, InMobi’s B2B advertising revenues saw a quarterly growth of 7% in Q2 (April-June 2020). In the current quarter (July-September 2020), we are seeing a 20% growth in our advertising business. Usually, quarterly growth for us ranges between 10% and 15%," Tiwari had said.

InMobi’s revenue could touch $400 million in 2020-2021, said a person familiar with the development.

Madhurima Nandy contributed to this story.

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