InMobi Has Its Eye On Telcos, With Abhay Singhal

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On the heels of an Axios report that InMobi is in talks to acquire Xandr from AT&T, InMobi rolled out a new offering for mobile telcos. Coincidence?

Called InMobi Telco, the business unit provides infrastructure for mobile carriers to generate media impressions and ad revenue.

At launch, InMobi Telco signed up telco clients, including DISH and Mexico-based carrier América Móvil.

This week on the AdExchanger Talks podcast, InMobi Marketing Cloud CEO Abhay Singhal discusses the opportunity to expand its ad business by partnering with mobile carriers around the world. (He declines to comment on Xandr.)

“They are massively large infrastructure providers,” Singhal says of the mobile access providers. “We believe that they need to create large media properties and infrastructure in order to monetize … but they are not the best players to own and operate them themselves. They need companies that can help them create the media time and create the infrastructure to monetize.”

That media space can include browser-based impressions and apps, but Singhal says that’s not sufficient. InMobi Telco includes a branded property called Swish, which sits on the device and offers news, weather, games and commerce apps.

“We believe they need high-quality consumer properties that someone else can operate, but those consumer properties need to be sitting on devices,” Singhal says.

This isn’t the first time InMobi has tried to expand by working with huge companies that enable the mobile ecosystem. Its Glance subsidiary offers a lock screen content experience that device manufacturers can offer natively on mobile phones. Glance recently raised $145 million from Google and Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital.

Also in this episode: As one of the largest and longest-operating mobile ad tech players in the world, InMobi employs 1,500 people globally, about 1,000 of whom are based in India. Singhal discusses running a global business during COVID times, when the US is mostly vaccinated but India vaccination rates are still in the single digits.

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