Glance, the lock screen platform owned by adtech group InMobi, has announced raising of a massive $145 million round, from Google and existing investor Mithril Capital. For Google, this will be its second $100Mn+ investment in an Indian company within the same day. And while it has not been explicitly mentioned, the money is coming in through the Digitisation fund that the search giant had announced earlier this year for India specific investment.
Glance is also the parent of the fast-growing video-sharing social media platform Roposo. The company’s main expertise is in providing AI-driven personalized content in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Bahasa on lock screens of Android smartphones. It claims to have 115 million daily active users that spend 25 minutes per day making it one of the largest digital consumer platforms in the world.
With the new investment, the company says that it will deepen its AI capability across Glance and Roposo, expand its technology team, launch services on the platform, further strengthen the brand, and drive expansion in global markets.
Indian market is seeing rapid growth in applications that provides content in regional languages. Glance specializes in this niche and has been able to accumulate a large user base. The application also provides content based on the user’s interest. The platform has a wide range of genres from which users can select their interest subject and receive content based on that on the lock screen. Thanks to its AI capabilities, the platform is able to provide users the content, products, and services of their choice, right on their lock screens.
Roposo, the short video making platform, is the company’s other gladiator. It has seen rapid growth post the TikTok ban in India as former TikTok-ers flock to these alternatives. The platform provides content across multiple genres in more than 10 languages. The company said the application has been downloaded 100 million times on the Google Play Store and has 33 million monthly active users who spend 20 minutes daily enjoying the content of the application.
Caesar Sengupta, VP, Google praised the content provided by Glance saying, “Glance is a great example of innovation solving for mobile-first and mobile-only consumption, serving content across many of India’s local languages.” He also added, “Still too many Indians have trouble finding content to read or services they can use confidently, in their own language. And this significantly limits the value of the internet for them, particularly at a time like this when the internet is the lifeline of so many people. This investment underlines our strong belief in working with India’s innovative startups towards the shared goal of building a truly inclusive digital economy that will benefit everyone.”
Google has also invested in Dailyhunt, which also offers content in regional languages, and has recently become a unicorn.