Who are InMobi?
InMobi is one of India’s start-up success stories. Founded in Bangalore in 2007, in simple terms, InMobi operates an ad network focused on mobile advertising but it is its global presence and dominance in rapidly developing countries which sets it apart.
Whilst many ad tech companies offer great products and solutions for the US and European marketplace, elsewhere in the world, ad tech companies sometimes struggle to deliver ad tech solutions which are specifically customised to other markets and their cultures and geographies. InMobi predicted early on that the majority of countries in the developing world would be mobile-first and it has been proved right, mobile devices are typically the primary source for Internet access and InMobi has become a major global presence in mobile advertising by focusing, from the outset, on developing markets.
Just how big is their presence?
Today, InMobi is a global company with global reach. In February, it announced that it had reached over one billion unique mobiles devices on its network, making it the only mobile-first ad platform to reach this significant milestone. This extensive network extends much further than India alone, with 43% of subscribers coming from the advanced mobile markets of North America and Europe, whilst Asia Pacific accounts of 38% of mobiles. This has a significant bearing on the value of the InMobi service. It means they can offer app developers looking for users in their preferred markets, and brands in need of broader audiences, access to a highly engaged, global network on mobile.
Why the reported interest from Google?
At the start of this month it was reported that Google is in talks to acquire InMobi, although neither party has made an official comment to verify such a deal. Google are yet to dip their toe in to the Indian start-up market. The motivation for Google behind this deal, however, is less about conquering India and more a strategic move to keep pace with Facebook’s push in the targeted mobile advertising market. While founder and CEO, Naveen Tewari, reportedly told his employees that he does not intend to sell the company, ADTEKR will continue to watch this space.
Digital advertising in India
It is now estimated that there are over 950 million mobile consumers in India who are all potential recipients of targeted personalised advertising. India is also reportedly the world’s fastest growing smartphone market, promoting the delivery of a richer ad experience and accelerating growth within the mobile advertising sector. This, coupled with the reduction in price of high speed data plans, is allowing mobile advertising volumes in India to grow at a faster rate than anywhere else in the world. Mobile in India also has the unique possibility of directly targeting, and therefore helping to unlock, remote rural environments.
In terms of what’s currently being used, social networking, messaging, chat and gaming apps are most regularly accessed on mobile devices, with older audiences also adopting these types of services, while shopping and classified ads are said to be less popular amongst Indian consumers. In app purchasing is also in its infancy in India with the majority of users reportedly having never purchased items from within an app.