InMobi: Founder, Funding, Business Model, And Competitors

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InMobi, Indian online startup provides enterprise platforms for marketers globally. The ad-firm enables consumers to explore new products and services by serving relevant, contextual, and curated recommendations on devices and mobile apps. The platform allows developers, brands, and publishers to grab consumers via mobile advertising.

A journey from ‘mKhoj’ to InMobi

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

The mobile ad firm initially focused on growing the business in arising markets like Africa, Asia and the US in 2009. The company has grown into one of India’s first Unicorns since its inception.

The company is open source based built of distributed software stack capable of processing billions of requests per month; analyzing petabyte information in a matter of hours.

InMobi mainly focuses on work with advertisers, publishers and app developers. They bring in advertisers who would like to present their ads on the page providing options to target these ads to the right users and options like country, demographics, city, handset, etc.

No rules for Inmobians!

InMobi is way different from other companies, and surprisingly the rules are eye-popping where Facebook as well is restricted by some rules. The company does not have any rules. The workplace is home to the employees who work their and bold as they are mavericks. The people in the company can take six days leaves without the approval from a supervisor. Every member of the workspace gets 100 percent bonus and performance appraisal which is out of the window.

WOW-factor of this is that, if any InMobian wants to quit and start a new venture, the company arranges a space to the people in their office by supporting them to brainstorm with ex-colleagues. If any new employee wants to quit the job they even provide stopping bonus to him/her. InMobi spawned more than 40+ startups globally offering financial support to them.

Isn’t it crazier than the crazy policies?!

TATA group once said that InMobi is not a company, but an EMOTION.

Business Model

InMobi changed its business model form a B2B company to a consumer brand and from advertising to commerce on the smartphone. The company never binds to one term and continues to break new ground.

It has mainly 2 differentiators from all other ad networks.

  1. Understanding of local markets– 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.
  2. Providing Data– 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 analyzes the data whenever an ad is clicked.

Funding

InMobi raised a total of $320.6M with 5 investors of which SoftBank Capital, Sherpalo Ventures, Kleiner Perkins are the lead investors and the latest to be in the funding is Tennenbaum Capital Partners. The total annual revenue is estimated to be nearly $280M.

Competitors

Chartboost, Tapjoy, PubMatic, AdColony are some of the competitors for InMobi.

InMobi’s innovative reach in product and technology solved the inefficiencies with the right technology and tools creating higher monetization leading to higher yields. Mobile advertising is a global business and vastly different from PC. The company provides ways of mobile advertising in all parts of the globe. All these key points made the company be one in a million and number globally.

Acquisitions & Awards

In August 2011, InMobi acquired US-based mobile advertising solutions Sprout backed by Polaris Partners. In jan 2018, the ad-firm acquired Los Angeles based Aerserv for US $ 90M and in June 2018, Microsoft Corp officially stated its global partnership with InMobi.

InMobi gained many awards and recognition. It won the ‘NDTV Indian of the Year’ in 2016. Recently, this year it was named as CNBC Disruptor 50 list and named as The World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2018.