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InMobi

Model: Marketplace
Value: Exited

The largest independent mobile advertising network in the world. It has challenged Apple & Goggle in innovation on mobile-first advertising platforms. It was listed as one of MIT Technology Review's 50 most disruptive companies in 2013, number 15 on Fast Company's list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2016, and ranked No.1 in the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in India.

The inside story

400MM mobile subscribers, advertising is local in nature. It seemed to make sense that there should be a mobile ad opportunity in India. So when we saw the InMobi plan it felt like a reasonable opportunity to invest in a mobile ad network targeted at the Indian market. The element that we got wrong was that there was a small ad market in India and the new mobile ad dollars were going to take some time to come in. What we got right was that investments in technology / product would be useful and enable us to expand the business outside of India to be a global player.

We invested in InMobi when apps were still just getting started and the world felt like it would be very much a mobile web world. Today apps dominate the mobile ecosystem and the fragmentation and global adoption makes for a very interesting ecosystem.

In today’s world an app developer in the UK wants to reach a user in South Africa that happens to be playing a game made by a Swedish company. Each of the companies is likely to be 3-4 years old and have just 5 employees.

It's an amazing world that we was fortunate enough to see develop from the inside as we played an active role with InMobi (I was a board member) and also in an operational role as head of corporate development for a few years as we bought three companies (2 in the UK and 1 in the US). The mobile ad space is an exciting area and we are happy to see InMobi all grown up and showing world the truly global business that we can build from here in India.

 

  • Year of investment

    2008

  • Location

    Bangalore

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