​​Indian mobile ad tech start-up InMobi takes on Google, Facebook on their home turf

Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO​ of ​InMobi. Photo: Special Arrangement.  

Indian mobile advertising network InMobi has launched an artificial intelligence discovery platform that would show ads to people about products and services that they actually want to buy.

It aims to solve the problem of annoying and irrelevant ads that advertisers send to consumers on their favorite apps and mobile websites.

InMobi founder Naveen Tewari unveiled the platform in USA, the home turf of Google, Facebook and Apple. The Bengaluru-based company competes with these firms in the market for data-driven mobile advertising.

The platform, called Miip, creates discovery zones for consumers within their favourite apps. It then presents a curated collection of product feeds, apps and related content with visuals.

Miip, an animated sloth character, observes the surfing movements of consumers over the phone. It then humanizes the discovery experience by suggesting the products that they might want to buy. Unlike traditional push-based advertising, it learns and refines its recommendations over time through reactions and emotions expressed by the consumer.

“Ads today have forgotten the protagonist of the story, the user,” said Naveen Tewari, chief executive of InMobi, who unveiled the product at a prime venue in San Francisco in front of an audience which included marquee Silicon Valley investors, top academicians and entrepreneurs. “With Miip, we will put the user ahead of everyone else, and deliver a consistent, personalized and content-rich experience that users will fall in love with,” said Mr. Tewari, who co-founded InMobi with fellow IITians Amit Gupta, Mohit Saxena and Abhay Singhal from a single-bedroom flat in Mumbai in 2007.

Mr. Tewari said InMobi expects to earn a revenue of $1 billion (Rs. 6,340 crore) through Miip platform in the next few years. Miip will capture a consumer’s attention through stories stitched together based on a strong unifying theme.

For instance, a user who likes rock music will see an intelligently crafted story with curated recommendations across relevant merchandise, track reviews, concert tickets and music equipment all within one discovery zone. InMobi said that Miip will be embedded across 40,000 apps. Miip has already tied-up with several partners including music streaming service Spotify, mobile game maker MachineZone and online retailers like JustFab, Joyus and TheRealReal.

“With over 20 per cent of our sales coming from mobile, we recognize the benefit of targeting new consumers directly on mobile and are confident in InMobi's capability to deliver solid results,” said Slaton Carter, a Director at TheRealReal which offers women’s and men’s luxury fashion brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

InMobi which has raised $200 million (Rs. 1,269 crore) from Japan’s SoftBank released the platform at a time when it is facing a cut-throat competition from the likes of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Millennial Media, Twitter and Yahoo. These players are rapidly eating up global mobile advertising market share, which will hit two significant milestones in 2016, surpassing $100 billion (Rs. 6.3 lakh crore) in spending and accounting for more than 50 per cent of all digital ad expenditure for the first time, according research firm eMarketer.

“As an Indian, I feel lot of pride what I did today,” said Mr.Tewari after the event in US.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 5:47:03 AM |

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