Home / Companies / Start-ups /  InMobi unit Glance nears unicorn status

India’s first startup unicorn InMobi Group may see another emerge from the group, as its mobile content platform Glance, which also houses the short-video app Roposo, is set to hit a valuation of more than $1 billion with its upcoming funding round, said a top company executive.

Glance, InMobi’s business to customer (B2C) arm, is in the market to raise at least $100 million in new funding, two people aware of the plans said separately.

“We believe the valuation of InMobi’s B2C business is certainly beyond that of a unicorn. And in the coming fundraise, it will definitely be valued over $1 billion; we are clear about it," said Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO of InMobi, a global advertising technology firm.

While Tewari declined to comment on the fundraising, he said Glance is expected to raise funds in the next six months.

Unicorn is a term used for startups and businesses that have a valuation of at least $1 billion.

Roposo was acquired by Glance last November for an undisclosed amount.

Last September, InMobi raised $45 million for Glance from Mithril Capital, a venture capital firm co-founded by Silicon Valley investors Peter Thiel and Ajay Royan.

Indian social apps are experiencing a watershed moment, with the government banning dozens of Chinese apps, including TikTok, citing security concerns.

This has led to a gold rush among home-grown social apps including Sharechat, MX Takatak, owned by the Times Group, as well InMobi’s Glance and Roposo, which are trying to fill the gap.

Sharechat has been in early-stage talks with venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and tech giant Microsoft Corp. for a potential $200 million investment, which will value the company at more than $1 billion.

According to Tewari, post the ban on Chinese apps, Roposo gained, touching a user base of close to 100 million, with 55 million monthly active users on the platform. The average time spent on Glance has also improved from 22 minutes to 26 minutes, post the lockdown, while daily active usage peaked at 100 million users in August.

Glance and Roposo together have more than 100 million daily active users in the country that spend over 30 minutes on the platform.

During the lockdown, InMobi’s Glance business, which was earlier focused only on entertainment, added offerings such as covid insurance and gaming, accelerating the platform’s growth. At present, Glance’s gaming proposition is already attracting 25 million monthly active users, Tewari added.

Now, InMobi’s focus is to build new revenue streams on the Roposo platform as the company plans to enter the ‘influencer commerce’ segment by the year-end.

“No one can build a significantly large business in India by pegging themselves only on advertisements. Unlike the US market, per capita ad spending in India is much less. Now with Glance and Roposo having significant outreach, we want to leverage an individual’s talent and creativity, to convert them into entrepreneurs. This is all while replicating the offline-buying behaviour, online," added Tewari.

Roposo, at present, is in talks with logistics and payment companies for integration on its platform and will also leverage Glance to amplify product reviews from influencers. Talks are also on with e-commerce companies to integrate influencer reviews on online listings.

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