Advertising tech unicorn InMobi Tuesday said PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital has invested $45 million (about ₹324 crore) in its content platform Glance.
Austin, Texas-based Mithril Capital is a growth stage investment firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal and Palantir Technologies, and the first outside investor in Facebook.
Glance is an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform that delivers ad-free, personalized content to the lock screens of smartphones.
Bengaluru-based InMobi group also includes InMobi Marketing Cloud and TruFactor.
InMobi’s founder and chief executive Naveen Tewari said the investment will give the company the “ability to grow globally and to build a few other platforms within Glance". InMobi will ink deals with a “few more investors over the next few weeks," exclusively for Glance, Tewari said over the phone.
In a press statement, the company claimed Glance now has 50 million daily active users.
Ajay Royan, managing general partner and co-founder of Mithril Capital, said in the statement, “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."
As part of the transaction, Royan has joined the Glance board.
The statement added that the Mithril investment anchors a larger financing round in Glance.
The new funds will enable Glance to launch new platforms such as Glance TV (a short video platform), Glance Gaming, Glance Shopping and Glance Nearby, a hyperlocal experiential platform. The company will also expand to South-East Asia in the coming months.
Glance is now available in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu in India, and Bahasa in Indonesia.
“Almost all of our user base is in India. We now plan to launch in South-East Asia, starting with Indonesia where we launched earlier in the quarter. We may then look at other regions. For the next 12 months, we want to focus on South-East Asia. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines are of significance," Tewari told Mint.
The company will work with production houses to create original video content, and focus on developing local, vernacular content in and outside India.
On hiring a chief executive for Glance, Tewari said the company has no plans to do so in the near future, as it has a “large and senior leadership team in place" that reports to him. “We may look to hire someone at a later stage," he said.
Glance is not profitable at the moment and is not being monetized so far. The focus continues to be on enhancing user experience, figuring out ways in which to monetize it and building scale, he added.