InMobi’s consumer mobile product Glance has closed a $45 million (Rs 330 crore) investment from Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital.
Glance delivers artificial intelligence-driven, personalised content to what is called “screen zero” of smartphones. Every time a user wakes up their phone, their lock screen comes alive with new visual and interactive content – news, games, videos – personalised for them. No need to get into an app.
Glance is available on several Android brands in India, including Samsung, Xiaomi and Vivo. InMobi co-founder Naveen Tewari said that as of August 2019, Glance had more than 50 million daily active users who spend 22 minutes per day on it. “It’s adding 5-7 million new users every month,” he said.
Glance was InMobi’s first entry into the consumer space. Its flagship business – which turned it into one of India’s first unicorns – is a mobile marketing & advertising network, one that enables marketers to identify the best channels to advertise and then deliver those ads to the right audiences. Early this year it started another business called TruFactor that enables telcos to transform their digital assets into strategic knowledge.
Tewari said the funds from Mithril will allow Glance to expand into other countries, with the focus on South East Asia, and create new platforms. The plan is to create something like a television series, but with 2-3-minute episodes. “Micro bingeing is becoming big. People watch one short video and half an hour later, another. We will work with local production houses to create these,” Tewari said.
Gaming is already big on Glance and the plan is to create many new ones. It also wants to let people know, depending on location, what’s available around them on their lock screen.
“Glance, the world’s first and fastest growing screen zero platform, is a powerful innovation to democratise content and commerce on the mobile internet,” said Ajay Royan, managing general partner and co-founder of Mithril Capital. Royan and Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and Palantir Technologies – both of which became unicorns – are co-founders of Mithril.
Tewari said the Mithril investment is part of a larger round of $75 million that Glance is seeking to raise.―Times of India