InMobi, the independent mobile ad network, is to receive a massive $200 million investment from SOFTBANK Corp. The funding will take place in two tranches- $100 million in September 2011 followed by an equivalent tranche in April 2012.
Softbank joins existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. The $200 million investment, one of the largest to date in the mobile internet space , will help the company create value across the mobile ecosystem globally through advertising, mobile payments using SmartPay™, and HTML5 rich media production and distribution using the recently acquired Sprout™ platform.
Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO of InMobi, commented: “The size of the investment and quality of investor validate the enormous potential in mobile today and strengthen our role in helping the industry evolve. We have already established ourselves as a leader in mobile advertising on every continent. This is just the beginning. 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.”
“I am delighted at this opportunity to partner with InMobi, one the world’s largest mobile ad networks”, said Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of Softbank. “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. 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.”
This partnership will provide Softbank and InMobi with opportunities to further explore global scale collaboration in the fast growing mobile ad market. It is also expected to generate further synergies between InMobi and Softbank, given the significant number of prominent Asian Internet companies in Softbank’s investment portfolio.
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