InMobi gets $200M from SoftBank for mobile ads

Faith Merino · September 15, 2011 · Short URL:

The company is growing rapidly and acquired Sprout last month to build out its HTML5 offerings

InMobi, the self-proclaimed “largest independent mobile ad network” in the world, has just received an impressive $200 million cash infusion from Softbank Corp., which owns Yahoo Japan along with a number of other properties.  The funding will be divided between two installments, the first $100 million in September and the second $100 million in April 2012.

In the company’s announcement, InMobi says that the new financing will bolster its mobile payments arm, SmartPay, as well as support innovation in HTML5 rich media production and distribution.  To that end, InMobi acquired HTML5 rich media authoring platform Sprout last month. 

Since launching in the U.S. and Europe in 2010, InMobi has grown its network to 47.3 billion monthly impressions from 7.5 billion.  The company was founded in 2007 in the Asia-Pacific region and has since served over 100 billion mobile ads to date, or 47 billion impressions a month, reaching 340 million consumers in over 165 countries.

“With a global leader like Softbank behind us, we are now well positioned to fully capitalize on the opportunity before us through substantially increased product innovation, deeper market penetration, and acquisitions across the mobile ad value chain,” said Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO of InMobi, in a statement.

With a headcount of 350, the company maintains offices in Singapore, Bangalore, London, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Nairobi.

InMobi previously raised $15 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures.

"I hope the partnership with InMobi, a fast-growing startup with significant mobile expertise and an outstanding technology platform; will further accelerate the pace of development in the mobile Internet space globally,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of Softbank Corp., in a statement.  “We believe this partnership will help Softbank become the No. 1 Internet company in Asia and I look forward to working with the InMobi team."

Mobile ad spend increased 38% worldwide in the first quarter of 2011, with the largest growth being in Central and South America.  Mobile ad revenues in the U.S. are expected to reach $8.2 billion in 2016.

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