Mobile ad network AdMob has raised $15.7 million in a Series C round of investment from Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners. AdMob will use the money to invest in hiring local staff in markets like Western Europe, India, South Africa and Japan. Last we heard, they were looking for a Country Manager for India. What I found interesting is the plan to also invest in adding new language interfaces for these markets.
An interesting situation exists in India on the Internet – advertisers prefer to place ads in English online. Take a look at some of the indic language content sites – AajTak, Jagran (Yahoo), OneIndia and WebDunia. The feedback we received a couple of months ago from some of the Indic language portals is that many advertisers don’t want to advertise in Indic languages – sometimes, purely because they don’t want to create separate creatives for separate languages. That appears to have changed now, and some of these sites do feature creatives in local languages.
The mobile Internet is still something of a mystery in India – the official government figures aren’t usable – and Industry sources say that the overall user base ranges from 10-15 million. AdMob, according to their published stats, serves 391 million monthly “requests” (impressions?) in India. India accounts for 7.7 percent of their requests, but remains number 3 in the pecking order, behind Indonesia and the US. The question is, how many advertisers do they have on board from India?