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Monday, October 18, 2021

Reliance said to near investment in Google-backed Glance InMobi

Glance InMobi pushes curated news and entertainment content onto phone lock screens and also runs a short-video app.

By: Bloomberg |
September 28, 2021 1:49:59 pm
glance.com (Source: glance.com/Bloomberg)

Reliance Industries Ltd. is in talks to buy a stake in Indian mobile content provider Glance InMobi Pte, according to people familiar with the matter.

The conglomerate is considering investing about $300 million in the unicorn backed by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The transaction could be completed as soon as in the next few weeks, one of the people said.

Glance InMobi pushes curated news and entertainment content onto phone lock screens and also runs a short-video app. Reliance’s investment could involve strategic co-operation along with the financial element, a different person said.

Such a deal would give Reliance access to valuable lock-screen real estate on the affordable mobile phones it’s co-developing with Google and slated to hit the market in time for the Diwali shopping season in end October. It would also give Reliance strategic entry into short-video content, a category where users are skyrocketing.

Deliberations are ongoing and Reliance could decide not to proceed with the investment, the people said. A representative for Glance did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, while a Reliance representative declined to comment.

Google agreed last year to invest $4.5 billion in a partnership with Reliance, which included plans for a low-cost smartphone as part of Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s efforts to build a local technology titan. The phone was set for its debut earlier this month, but the launch was delayed due to the global shortage of semiconductors.

Glance InMobi was founded in 2019 and has about 130 million daily active users. Its Roposo app offers short videos in a dozen Indian languages. The company, whose backers also include Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital, agreed to acquire e-commerce startup Shop101 in June.

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