Softbank invests $200M in InMobi

Japanese mobile operator pumps US$200 million into independent mobile ad network, InMobi, to tap fast-growing mobile ad market, say company execs.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Japanese mobile operator Softbank has invested US$200 million into global independent mobile ad network InMobi, in what the companies have lauded as one of the biggest funding deals in the mobile Internet space.

With the new investment, the two partners will embark on a global collaboration to tap the fast-growing mobile advertising market, according to a statement issued Thursday by InMobi.

It will also generate "further synergies" between the two, given the significant number of Asian Internet companies currently in Softbank's investment portfolio.

The funds will be dished out in two tranches--US$100 million this month, and another US$100 million in April 2012.

InMobi said: "[The money will] create value across the [company's] mobile ecosystem globally through world-class advertising, mobile payments using SmartPay, and HTML5-rich media production and distribution using the recently acquired Sprout platform."

Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO of InMobi, said: "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.

"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."

Chairman and CEO of Softbank, Masayoshi Son, added that with InMobi's mobile expertise and technology platform, the partnership will "further accelerate the pace of development in the mobile Internet space globally".

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