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CASE STUDY: How InMobi reconstructed itself to become the largest independent mobile ad network worldwide?

06/04/2016

What you will find in this Case Study?

1) About the Company

2) Idea behind InMobi

3) Growth and revenue

4) InMobi on Social Media

5) Future Plans of the company

About the Company

InMobi is a multi-million company and positions itself among the top in global mobile advertisement with Google and Facebook being its competitor. The two IITK alumni Mr Naveen Tewari & Mr Abhay Jindal are on the position of director and co-director in the company respectively. Talking about the current status of the company, today, it is used by world’s top brands, agencies and developers to improve their business value by delivering compelling value propositions to their target customers. It offers a number of solutions to engage hold and inspire their global consumers in a friendly way using mobile advertising.

The idea

The company was started by Naveen Tewari, Abhay Singhal, Mohit Saxena, and Amit Gupta in 2006 as a SMS based search platform, mKhoj, that later turned to become a mobile advertising platform InMobi.

Naveen-Tewari_InMobi

Tewari as an MBA scholar at Harvard did a stint with Charles River Ventures in Boston and after completion of the graduation, spent a year in Silicon Valley working with colleagues on business ideas that ultimately failed. Then Tewari went for a month-long vacation to India in the mid of 2006. It was the time when he started working on his own business plan for SMS mobile search. They built the first version mKhoj working out from a rented apartment in Mumbai. The initial concept didn’t work out so Tewari along with his three friends moved back to the drawing board and changed the business idea that resulted in InMobi.

But the bad time kept following them. In 2007 when company ran out of money, management ran the company for two months on 14 credit cards without paying bills. The condition reached upto the extend that once they thought to quit everything. But soon they got a lucky charm and hit a funding of $7 million.

Growth and Revenue Generation

After receiving the fund, InMobi increased its talent strength to 50 people in their four offices, most of them engineers and returnees to India.

In an interview Tewari said, “We invested very heavily in our technology and got on board the best engineers whom we could find at Google, Yahoo and MSN to be a part of the team.”

The whole year of 2009 went on in the global expansion for InMobi, expanding to Southeast Asia, then South Africa and further to Europe. The company became profitable in the same year. In early 2010, with 120 employees, InMobi did a lenient launch in the U.S market, and then rolled out nationwide by midyear, in sync with an entry to Japan. In July 2010, the existing investor Kleiner and Sherpalo put in another $8 million in the startup.
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3) How Micromax created a niche for itself and became number #2 smartphone vendor in India?[/su_box] Then they received a big knock from Softbank through which they raised $200 million that made InMobi among few billion dollar tech companies in India and finally InMobi became the largest independent mobile ad network. Most recently in 2014, it has raised $5 million more from its existing investor Softbank.

With more than a thousand large enterprise customers, including Unilever and Samsung, the company has maintained annual revenue of $500 million in 2013 and is looking to hit the billion dollar mark by 2016.

InMobi today clocks more than 1 billion monthly active users and gets more than 138 billion monthly ad impressions. The company currently running in 200 countries with more than 2.6 billion app download has 17 offices worldwide which once had barely enough money to survive and was on the verge of closure.

It has now emerged as one of the world’s largest independent mobile ad networks, engaging 800 million consumers every month across 200 countries. Today, the company competes with Google’s AdMob, Apples’ iAd.

InMobi on Social Media Platform

While most of the companies are restricting their employees from accessing various social media networks, there are many that are using it for moneymaking and successfully running various campaigns over the platform. They are encouraging their staffers to be on social media, even running contests around Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

The main objective of InMobi to use social media platform is to use it as a marketing tool to acquire new customers, and create robust brand trust among the target customers.

InMobi has attracted 9400 fans to its main Facebook page. InMobi is working well over Twitter and people also prefer Twitter primarily to connect with the brand which has more than 23K followers. Also the company has more than 78000 followers over LinkedIn.

Future aspects of InMobi

InMobi is valued in between $2.5 to $3 billion. With its presence across 200 countries, InMobi is sitting on a verge of huge opportunity, Tewari said. He further added, “The overall estimated advertisement market size being of $650 billion in 2020 is expected to be $200-$250 billion for mobile advertising.”

Tewari accepts his failure with his initial idea of mKhoj. He said “During the initial days, we were very much confident about our idea. People want information about various deals in their city, and will happily pay for an SMS. We were lucky to get $500K in initial round of funding from Mumbai Angels. We thought we had cracked it. But we crashed.”

InMobi’s is a story of commitment, passion, and a story of an Indian company that dreamed to go global and actualized it in a short span of time.
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