Google, Thiel Funding Helps Harvard Alum Score a Second Unicorn
(Bloomberg) - Glance, a mobile content platform from the founder of India's earliest unicorn, has reached over $ 1 billion after closing a funding round led by Google, according to experts.
Alphabet Inc. unit and billionaire Peter Thiels Mithril Capital invested $ 145 million in the 18-month-old startup, whose app uses artificial intelligence to curate a personalized feed of entertainment, news, sports scores and video game content and send it to the phone lock Screens, according to one statement. Mithril had previously invested $ 45 million in Glance and increased the funds raised by the startup to $ 190 million.
Glance Digital Experience Pvt, headquartered in Bangalore, is the second unicorn in the group to form InMobi, a cloud marketing platform that was India's earliest tech startup to hit the milestone. The group was founded by 43-year-old startup veteran Naveen Tewari, a graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School. "Glance is an Indian-born innovation in the Internet for consumers," said Tewari, the group's chief executive officer said in an interview. "Just as Google dominates search, YouTube rules video and WhatsApp is the news leader, Glance intends to dominate the lock screen," he said over a Zoom call from his home in Bangalore. Glance currently has 115 million daily active users who spend an average of 25 minutes using the app each day. The app only works in the Android ecosystem and has worked with leading device manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co., Xiaomi Corp., Oppo and Vivo.
Through the partnership with Google, the company plans to take its product to the rest of Asia and launch it in the US - where it will partner with carriers - and South America in 2021, Tewari said. Glance is currently focused on user acquisition and, according to Tewari, has just started experimenting with ad-based monetization models.
Read more: TikTok's India Rival Booms with 500,000 Users Per HourThe startup's other app, short video platform Roposo, saw a spike in downloads over the summer after rival TikTok in India along with dozens of other China-based apps for security and security concerns Privacy concerns were banned. The new capital would help the company build a stronger AI backbone. “ByteDance showed the world that next generation mobile products are based on AI,” said Tewari. “Like ByteDance, which dominated China before it became global, we are India's leading companies operating globally. Let's call it the Ostization of AI technology for consumers. "
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