The Redmond giant has struck similar partnerships with India's largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart and the country's largest ride hailing firm Ola
in the past. Microsoft even made an investment in Flipkart last year -stake that it will hold onto even after Walmart invests a massive $16 billion into the company for 77 per cent stake.
"The combination of Microsoft Azure with InMobi's marketing platforms will deliver new intelligent customer experiences and business insights to organisations around the world," said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
Microsoft currently lags behind the global leader in cloud infrastructure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), which also happens to be the online retail giant's fastest growing business. Even in India, AWS has an edge over rivals Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba in cloud infrastructure and is considered to be the easiest platform to build cloud services on by younger start-ups.
Microsoft's reach within enterprises to whom it sells Windows, Office 365 and Azure products could give InMobi a massive advantage over rivals. Again, at a time when AI is transforming the cloud-based ads and marketing solutions market, having access to tools that Microsoft has built will be invaluable.
"With Microsoft's global reach and advanced security, privacy and compliance, alongside InMobi's scale and decade-long experience in mobile-first technology, we can truly disrupt the marketing ecosystem" said Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO of InMobi.
Under the deal, the duo will be able to exploit additional opportunities by combining InMobi's marketing and advertising capabilities with Microsoft Dynamics 365 - a resource planning and CRM application for enterprises - and will look at cooperation in reaching out to customers as well.
While InMobi is based in India, majority of its customers are from overseas markets, including China, US and Europe. Microsoft has a strong infrastructure presence across the globe with data centres that will allow InMobi to work closer to customers and offer them advantages of localisation.
The partnership will see InMobi moving to Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud provider
InMobi will be able to tap Microsoft's large enterprise base to cross-sell its solutions
Microsoft has inked similar cloud-first partnerships with Flipkart and Ola in the past