Glance in talks with US, Japanese investors to raise $200-250 million

Topics InMobi | Investors | fundings

Glance sits on the lock screen of Android phones and delivers personalised content in vernacular languages
Spurred by growth in its video-sharing platform Roposo, InMobi-owned Glance is tapping US and Japanese investors to raise $200-250 million, said people in the know.

“The discussion is in advanced stages and if all goes well, it could be closed in the ongoing quarter at a healthy valuation,” said one of the persons. An InMobi spokesperson declined to comment.

Glance, positioned as a subsidiary of InMobi, has so far raised one round of $45 million from Mithril Capital — a growth-stage investment firm co-founded by Silicon Valley-based investors Peter Thiel and Ajay Royan.

“The new round is to support monetisation of Roposo, which has already invoked unprecedented interest from marketers and advertisers,” added another person.

Roposo was acquired by InMobi in November 2019. India’s ban on 59 Chinese apps in June gave a fillip to the video-sharing app, which competes with TikTok. It has been rapidly growing, with daily downloads touching 6 billion in the aftermath of the ban.

“This can’t be right” was the first thought of founders Mayank Bhangadia, Avinash Saxena, and Kaushal Shubhank, upon seeing the real-time analytics on June 29. “We were seeing as many users live within the last 30 minutes that used to be our daily active user count a few weeks earlier,” said Shubhank, co-founder of Roposo. Today, the app has over 80 million downloads.

Other video and audio content apps inching up on the Play Store chart are Chingari and Rizzle, both of whom are also in advanced talks to close funding rounds.

Short video app Chingari has already closed a seed round of $1.3 million from Blume Ventures and others, and is in talks with three US-based investors to close a $10-million Series A round next month.

“We have seen all the traction in less than a month as VCs were not interested earlier. We went all out with marketing in June, after the Chinese app ban,” said Sumit Ghosh, co-founder and CEO of Chingari.

Hyderabad-based video app Rizzle has just closed the term sheet on a bridge financing round this month, led by Orbit Venture Partners. The firm also aims to close a Series B round this year.  “We will invest in licensing of music content and roll out a Rizzle series to go deep into the Indian market. This will come with a compensation structure for users,” said Lakshminath Dondeti, co-founder of Rizzle.

Homegrown MitronTV also raised Rs 2 crore last month in a seed round, from VC firm 3one4 Capital, and others. Considering the interest in newer entrants like Chingari and Mitron, vernacular language-based platform ShareChat, with already $500 million monthly active users, may consider raising $300 million in a Series E round in the next 2 months, say industry insiders.

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