Adtech unicorn InMobi steps up to tap vernacular content market; acquires Tiger Global backed Roposo

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Updated: Nov 25, 2019 5:11 PM

India’s first unicorn Inmobi has acquired Tiger Global backed short-video platform Roposo for its mobile content arm Glance launched last year.

Glance claimed of having over 60 million daily active users as of November 2019. (Image:

India’s first unicorn Inmobi has acquired Tiger Global backed short video platform Roposo for its mobile content arm Glance, launched last year, to get access to Roposo’s network content creators and over 42 million users apart from its video technology, and the brand. Glance claimed of having over 60 million daily active users as of November 2019. Glance offers content related to news, travel, sports, food, games etc. in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on the lock screen of Android smartphones. It raised $45 million from Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm Mithril Capital in September this year.

Roposo, on the other hand, started in 2014, offers short format videos in 10 languages and on 24 channels powered by regional influencers, Glance said as it will be able to tap Roposo’s regional influencers and create professional vernacular, video content according to required content for Glance’s lock screen. Importantly, close to 60 per cent of Glance users come from tier-II and III cities in India that spend 22 minutes per day on average consuming content in their language. “Most of India wants high-quality video content in vernacular since only 10 per cent of India speaks English,” said Naveen Tewari, Founder and CEO at InMobi Group. Glance is integrated with the native user experience on most Android smartphones of brands including Xiaomi, Samsung, and Vivo.

Also read: India’s biggest unicorn Paytm commits $1.4 billion to penetrate deeper into hinterland; raises funding

Digital or online video market has taken social media by storm while India is estimated to have over 500 million online video subscribers by FY 2030 to become the second-biggest market after China, said KPMG in September 2019 report. Moreover, internet video traffic is likely to grow from 1.5 exabytes per month in 2017 to 13.5 exabytes per month by 2022. While long-form content is witnessing traction, short-form content (less than 20 minutes) continues to be relevant particularly to focus on millennials. In fact, over-the-top platforms including SonyLiv and Eros Now have started making original content of less than 10-minute duration,” said KPMG.

The market, however, is currently dominated by China’s ByteDance-owned TikTok that reportedly has 200 million users in India out of which 120 million are monthly active users. While Roposo’s acquisition also hints towards growing competition from TikTok, however, Bertelsmann India Investments MD Pankaj Makkar had in April this year said that both apps could co-exist. “It won’t be easy for players like TikTok to build a business in India as it might be for Chinese mobile manufacturers. It doesn’t mean they cannot win but it will not be very easy,” Makkar had told Financial Express Online adding that “one app winning the entire digital media industry will never going to happen. Roposo has grown 20-30X since it started the video app.”

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