Ad tech startup becomes India’s second profitable unicorn and people love it

Naveen Tewari, Co-founder and CEO of InMobi based in Bangalore, India.
Image: Hindustan Times via Getty Images

In India’s cash-guzzling startup ecosystem, profit stories are a bit of an aberration. So much so that even its poster-child, Flipkart, hasn’t turned a profit in a decade of its existence.

But here’s a success story and only the second one from India.

Mobile advertising firm InMobi, one of India’s 10 unicorns, is now a profit-making venture. Data analytics firm Mu Sigma is the only other Indian unicorn with that distinction. (India’s other unicorns are Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ola, Paytm, Quikr, Hike, ShopClues and Zomato.)

InMobi, backed by Japanese telecom giant Softbank, competes with the likes of Facebook and Google in the ad tech space and was also the first Indian startup to be valued at over $1 billion six years ago. It began operations in 2007.

Sharp growth in video ads on its platform and a burgeoning market in China saw InMobi record a profit of $8-10 million on revenues of $300 million in 2016, say reports.

“Revenues from the advanced video ad platform grew 4.22X year on year, and is projected to be the biggest driver of growth in 2017,” the company said in a statement to Mashable.

Naveen Tewari, Co-founder & CEO of InModi said: “We are no longer dependent on anyone, the business can scale on its own.”

China is now InMobi’s second-largest market after the US, accounting for 28 percent of its revenues, according to Tech In Asia. The US contributes 30 percent. India, Indonesia and Australia complete the top five geographies.

InMobi’s software development tools are integrated in 30,000+ apps, which allows it to gather a wealth of information about users. It then uses that information to offer customized ads to nearly 1.5 billion users.

Social media is abuzz with congratulatory messages for the Bangalore-based startup.

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