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Google set to enter India’s busy startup scene, in talks to acquire mobile ad startup InMobi

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It appears Google is looking to enter the list of U.S. tech companies, buying out Indian startups. The search giant is now reportedly in talks to buy out Bangalore based mobile advertising startup called InMobi and consequently strengthen its hold over the extremely competitive mobile advertising space.

If the deal comes through, this will be the company’s first startup acquisition in India, and the second major deal for an Indian startup with a foreign tech giant this year- Twitter bought ZipDial earlier.

InMobi, founded in 2007, basically helps companies to target phone users in their advertising- across a large range of devices with iOS, Windows Phone and Android systems. According to InMobi, it enables 138 billion ad impressions worldwide each month and targets 1 billion active users, with a presence in more than 200 countries.

It boasts of companies like Yamaha Motor Co, Microsoft, Adidas, Lancome in its clientele.

Right now, the ad sapce worldwide is influenced majorly by online and search ads, so it makes sense when Google wants to branch out to the mobile ad space (which is estimated to grow exponentially, valuing at $159 billion by 2018); since majority of Google’s revenue flow comes in through advertising.  Google has bought mobile advertising company AdMob for $750 million, after months of negotiations and talks, finally getting a go-ahead from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Reuters report further says that both parties are conducting formal talks as of now, the next step being technology due diligence. It is also reported that an early investor in InMobi is also a part of the early talks.

Last year, InMobi was reportedly seeking  venture round based on a $2 billion valuation, which it failed to raise, so it remains to be seen what Google will be offering. Google has not outlined the deal specifications as of yet. Both companies declined commenting.

Google’s VC arm, Google Capital, just recently set up shop in India, opening up its first office outside the U.S. However, we haven’t really seen Google Capital’s India arm coming into subcontinent’s busy start-up scene, even though it invested in CommonFloor, before setting up the India office.



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