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Fast-growing Indian content platform Glance secures $45m

David Murphy

Indian content platform Glance has secured a $45m (£37m) investment from Mithril Capital. Glance is part of the InMobi Group, which also includes InMobi Marketing Cloud and TruFactor. Mithril Capital is a growth stage investment firm co-founded by Silicon Valley investors Ajay Royan and Peter Thiel.

Glance delivers artificial intelligence-driven, personalized content to what it calls “screen zero” of smartphones. Every time a user wakes up their phone, their lock screen displays new visual and interactive content that is personalized for them. Glance has partnered with the leading Android phone makers in India to deliver a universal screen zero experience, to the extent that 65 per cent of all new smartphones in the country have the Glance app pre-installed. As of August 2019, Glance has more than 50m daily active users who spend 22 minutes each day on the platform.

“Glance, the world’s first and fastest growing screen zero platform, is a powerful innovation to democratize content and commerce on the mobile Internet,” said Ajay Royan, managing general partner and co-founder of Mithril Capital. “We share Glance’s global vision of breaking through the constraints of application architectures and linguistic markets to deliver rich, frictionless, and engaging experiences across a myriad of cultures and languages.”

The latest investment anchors a larger financing round. The new funds will enable Glance to launch multiple new platforms, including Glance TV – a mobile-first, short form video platform; Glance Gaming – a destination for casual gamers; Glance Shopping, “where content meets commerce” in the company’s own words; and Glance Nearby – a hyperlocal experiential platform. The company will also use the funds to expand into Southeast Asia in the coming months. In conjunction with Mithril’s investment, co-founder Ajay Royan has joined the Glance board.

“Glance is changing the landscape of content consumption to address the demands of the ‘attention economy’ we currently live in,” said Naveen Tewari, founder & CEO, InMobi Group. “By bringing discovery and consumption of personalized, short-form content to screen zero, Glance provides the immediacy and accessibility that consumers want.

“This investment from Mithril will help us further accelerate our journey through continued innovation in content-format, personalization and content discovery, and expand into new geographies.

Designed with a mobile- and video-first approach, Glance is currently available in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu in India, and Bahasa in Indonesia.