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InMobi—Indian Mobile Advertising Tech Company

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InMobi is an Indian global mobile advertising technology company based out of Bangalore, India. Its mobile-first platform allows brands, developers and publishers to engage consumers through contextual mobile advertising.

In 2008, it was enhanced from SMS-based services to mobile advertising and rebranded as InMobi. The company has been backed by SoftBank, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Ram Shriram's Sherpalo Ventures. The company has grown into one of India’s first Unicorns since its inception.

InMobi -  Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-InMobi
  • Formerly Called-mKhoj
  • Headquarters-Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Industry-Mobile Advertising
  • Founded-2007
  • Founders-Naveen Tiwari, Mohit Saxena, Amit Gupta, Abhay Singhal
  • CEO-Naveen Tiwari
  • Area Served-Worldwide
  • Website-www.inmobi.com

InMobi - About and How it Works?

InMobi is an Indian company that offers mobile advertising services. It offers solutions such as brand awareness, user acquisition, remarketing, and monetization for publishers. In addition, the company also provides products for marketing cloud, such as customer data platform (CDP), market research platform, and customer experience platform for the solutions, including organizing data and uncover the insights, get insights of market and customers, and measure and improve customer satisfaction.

InMobi develops an advertisement serving algorithm that helps in optimizing the ranking of the advertisements served on mobile phones. It has enhanced from SMS-based services to mobile advertising and rebranded as InMobi and very soon, InMobi became the first Indian unicorn startup company.

InMobi - Latest News

October 13, 2021 - InMobi Group's Roposo launches its ‘creator-led, live entertainment commerce’ with which it forays into the live commerce segment.

June 14, 2021 - InMobi-owned Glance acquires social eCommerce company Shop101 to strengthen their eCommerce layer for Glance and Roposo.

April 28, 2021 - InMobi launches the all-new in-game advertising that will help global brands and agencies to promote their products without annoying them even when they are absorbed in their games

December 22, 2020 - InMobi's mobile-first content platform Glance raised $145 million in fresh funding in the latest round led by Google.

InMobi's Glance raises $145 Million funding led by Google

InMobi - Logo and its Meaning

InMobi's logo symbolizes the constant delivery of dynamic communications, to a variety of consumers, on every mobile platform around the world.

According to the spokesperson for InMobi, "After countless concepts, design experiments, and revisions, we selected this new logo. It was the one design that we felt truly represented the energy and impact of the InMobi mobile ad network."

InMobi - Founder and History

InMobi founded in 2007 as mKhoj(mobile Khoj) an SMS-based search engine services by four founders- Naveen Tiwari, Mohit Saxena, Amit Gupta, Abhay Singhal in Bengaluru. Due to the company’s focus on mobile advertising from mobile search they 

InMobi started in 2007, when it was known as mKhoj (mobile khoj), providing SMS-based search engine services. Started by the four founders out of a residential flat in Bangalore, it has since grown into one of India's first Unicorns.

The founders later felt the need to rebrand to InMobi as the company shifted focus from mobile search to mobile advertising. The company initially focused on growing the business in emerging markets such as Asia, Africa and entered US in 2009. By this time, InMobi had already established their presence in the developing nations. ‘InMobi’ was also thought to be easier to pronounce in English as compared to mKhoj – which is a derivative of the Hindi word for ‘search’.

InMobi initially limited its services to Asia. However, in 2010 it raised $8 million in funding from Sherpalo Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. This investment inspired confidence in the firm and encouraged it to market itself globally. It began expanding to the U.S., Australia, and several countries in Europe. A $200 million round of funding from Softbank the following year enabled InMobi to scale rapidly in these markets.

China has been a particular bright spot. The company launched there in 2011, but now claims to be one of the largest mobile ad networks in the country. It serves 30,000 applications and witnesses 400 million impresses a day there. Globally-speaking, InMobi’s reach now extends to 700 million smartphone owners worldwide. Its growth has been fostered further through multiple acquisitions made between 2011 and 2013, with acquired firms including Metaflow Solutions and Overlay Media

InMobi - Mission

InMobi's mission statement says,

"Our culture is our true north as we nurture all InMobians to maximize their potential by enabling them to think big, giving them complex challenges to solve and providing opportunities to grow."

InMobi’s mission is to enable consumers and businesses to make smarter decisions.

InMobi - Business Model

InMobi evolved from advertising to commerce on the smartphone to a consumer brand. Advertising depends on the culture, and social aspects of each region and the company support it in many ways understanding the nuances of each market. InMobi is dedicated to providing customers with data as much as possible about their performances. Since it is a technology company, it is invested in building a product which goes a step further and analyses the data whenever an ad is clicked.

InMobi has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is likely research and development, as it invests heavily in technology. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and customer support/operations.

InMobi - Revenue and Growth

InMobi appears to have one revenue stream: the fees it charges developers, retailers, and brands for use of its platform. No information is available regarding pricing. With Glance growing nearly three-and-half times in 2019, InMobi expects a 200 per cent growth by the end of this year also on a very large base.

InMobi acquires Shop101 on June 14, 2021. Talks were already ripe, discussions were in the advanced stage, and the "contours of the deal are almost finalized," said one of the company's sources on June 1, 2021. The mobile-first advertisement services platform had been looking for an eCommerce platform to market Glance and Roposo, two of its most valued products, and it seems to have laid out its path by acquiring Shop101. The success of this deal announces the second acquisition of company in the last six-seven months after it had acquired Roposo in a distress sale last year.

Roposo of the InMobi Group forayed into the live eCommerce segment with the launch of its "creator-led, live entertainment commerce" on October 13, 2021. This new offering will help the consumers to shop for their products in real-time with some of “their most loved creators.” Furthermore, they can do this while they take part in a contemporary pop culture that is entertaining and within a live environment, which resembles a “virtual mall”.

InMobi - Awards and Recognitions

InMobi won the ‘NDTV Indian of the Year' award in 2016

InMobi was ranked 15th on the ‘World's Top 50 Innovative Companies 2016’ by Fast Company, a US-based business magazine. InMobi was also the number one company from India on the list ranked at 15th

InMobi was featured amongst The Economic Times ‘India's best workplaces of 2016’ for workplace culture transformation. InMobi was amongst the ‘50 Disruptive companies 2013’ list by MIT Technology Review.

InMobi won the bronze award in the category Enabling Technologies, Location based Advertising by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Global Smarties Awards 2015 in partnership with Unilever and Mindshare.

InMobi named one amongst Fast Company- The World's Most Innovative Companies, 2016.

InMobi named on CNBC Disruptor 50 list for 2018.

InMobi named one amongst Fast Company- The World's Most Innovative Companies, 2018.

InMobi named on CNBC Disruptor 50 list for 2019.

InMobi - Competitors

InMobi's top Competitors are :

  • Google Ad Manager.
  • Facebook Audience Network.
  • Unity Ads
  • Google AdMob.
  • Leadbolt.
  • TapJoy.
  • MoPub.
  • Appodeal.

InMobi - Challenges Faced

The first challenge was when the team decided to pivot when their chat application wasn’t gaining traction. “Pivoting really lead to the next level of growth for us,” Naveen Tiwari, the CEO, said.

"We never sent anybody from India to set up in those markets. We always hired a local person to lead the team. In some cases, it worked brilliantly. But when we got the wrong person, it failed miserably. We realized it had nothing do with the market or its size or anything like that. It just literally boiled down to the leader in the market," Naveen added.

InMobi laid off approximately 10 per cent of its workforce in April 2016, due to the company reeling under losses of US$45.5 million in 2014-15 and US$40.91 million in 2015–16 in a bid to show profitability.  The company also saw major attrition in their senior management during this phase. InMobi has refuted the claims, by stating that they added 184 full employees in 2016 and their voluntary attrition rates are lower than the industry average with 80% of the executive team at InMobi has an average tenure of more than four years.

InMobi - Future Plans

“The first phase of the company was about survival and the second about focusing on the business model, followed by scaling up,” Naveen Tewari, co-founder and chief executive officer of InMobi, said. “Now, we are at a stage of taking bigger and bolder bets that we didn’t think we would take a few years ago.”

Despite the problems, InMobi has had a great reception around the world. Today, the company is close to reaching 700 million smartphone users across the world. InMobi was also recently crowned by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 most disruptive companies in the world.

Growing from a startup to a multi-national corporation, InMobi faces challenges like any fast growing young company would too. The CEO of InMobi says that as a young organization with little processes it was tough running a global operation with 25 offices while keeping one culture, one system, and communicating clearly with everyone.

"As a company what we faced was to showcase and tell people that we have a great product. People expect great products coming out of Silicon Valley, innovations coming out of Silicon Valley and probably didn’t expect that innovation to come from an Indian company," he further added.

Today, InMobi can pat its chest and call itself a global company. Outside of India, it has offices and operations in Australia, Taiwan, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Russia, Germany, China and more. Despite launching in China only in late 2011, Naveen says that InMobi is “one of the largest mobile ad networks in China.”

InMobi - FAQs

Is InMobi a tech company?

InMobi is a company that offers mobile advertising services. It offers solutions such as brand awareness, user acquisition, remarketing, and monetization for publishers.

Who is the founder of InMobi?

InMobi founded in 2007 as mKhoj(mobile Khoj) an SMS-based search engine services by four founders- Naveen Tiwari, Mohit Saxena, Amit Gupta, Abhay Singhal in Bengaluru.

How does InMobi make money?

InMobi primarily earns from targeted advertisements on mobile apps of partner publishers. The cash register rings each time an end-cosumer clicks an ad or downloads the subsequent offering.

What is the InMobi ad network?

Yes, InMobi is an ad-networking company.

Who is the CEO of InMobi?

Naveen Tiwari is the current CEO of InMobi.

InMobi - Conclusion

InMobi was conceptualized and born against all odds. A company based out of India tackling mobile in 2007 was no ordinary task. Venture Capital was hard to come by and investors frowned on internet companies from India. InMobi was founded in this opaque environment because its founders had foresight and the required passion to be able to disrupt an industry. Some of the world’s greatest innovations are always met with hostility and InMobi was no different. This is the story – the story of how they built a tech powerhouse headquartered in India.

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