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Updated: Biting in the Facebook mobile pie, Google looks to buy InMobi: report


Update 12 March: InMobi founder Naveen Tewari clarified to the InMobi staff that they were not selling to Google, reports ET. InMobi was looking at a valuation of over $2 billion in a discussion with its investors for the next rounds of funding. Tewari also mentioned that InMobi did not need to get acquired since they were “building an amazing company in a huge market with a huge level of innovation”. An employee is said to have stated that they love the autonomy and freedom at InMobi and an acquisition, even by Google, would come as “golden handcuffs”. While the ET report mentioned that Google had formally begun talking to InMobi, both the companies had declined to comment then.

Previously: Google is looking to buy mobile advertising network InMobi as part of its strategy to counter Facebook’s dominance in advertising on mobile devices, reports The Economic Times. The publication added that the technology giant will begin talks with Bangalore-based InMobi and will initiate a technology due diligence followed by discussions on commercial terms. The report said that InMobi is looking at a valuation of $2 billion, while another Reuters report said that the company could be valued at around $1 billion.

Started in 2007 as mKhoj by Amit Gupta, Mohit Saxena and Abhay Singhal, the company renamed itself as InMobi in 2009. It counts Sherpalo, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and SoftBank as its investors and has raised $220.6 million so far. Recently it raised $5 million from Japan’s Softbank in December 2014.

InMobi claims that it currently reaches 1 billion active unique users through their mobile devices across over 200 countries.The company also claimed that it currently receives 6 billion ad requests per day, which up from 4.8 billion ad requests per day in November last year and up from 4 billion ad requests per day at the end of 2013. Consumers from Asia Pacific accounted for 38% of the active unique users, followed by Europe with 24%, North America with 19% and Latin America with 10%.

It’s worth noting that Google did not provide any indication on how its mobile ad business is performing in the last quarter, unlike its competitor Facebook which had mentioned in the previous quarter that mobile advertising accounts for 66% of its overall advertising revenues.

It’s also worth noting that Twitter bought Bangalore-based ZipDial earlier this year to strengthen their international growth plans. Facebook last year bought mobile app performance monitoring company Little Eye Labs which was its first acquisition in India

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