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SoftBank drops $200m on InMobi

SofBank has announced that earlier this week it had completed a $200 million investment in mobile advert network company, InMobi.

InMobi, the world’s largest independent mobile ad network, and SOFTBANK, completed a $200 million investment, early this week. The funding will take place in two tranches- $100 million in September 2011 followed by an equivalent tranche in April 2012.

Softbank joins existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures in helping InMobi become a global leader in the mobile advertising industry. The $200 million investment, one of the largest to date in the mobile internet space , will help the company create value across the mobile ecosystem globally through world-class advertising, mobile payments using SmartPay, and HTML5 rich media production and distribution using the recently acquired Sprout platform.

Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO of InMobi, commented: ‚The size of the investment and quality of investor validate the enormous potential in mobile today and strengthens our role in helping the industry evolve. We have already established ourselves as a leader in mobile advertising on every continent. This is just the beginning. With a global leader like Softbank behind us, we are now well positioned to fully capitalise on the opportunity before us through substantially increased product innovation, deeper market penetration, and acquisitions across the mobile ad value chain.‚

‚I am delighted at this opportunity to partner with InMobi, one the world’s largest mobile ad networks‚ , said Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of Softbank. ‚I hope the partnership with InMobi, a fast-growing startup with significant mobile expertise and an outstanding technology platform: will further accelerate the pace of development in the mobile Internet space globally. We believe this partnership will help Softbank become the No. 1 Internet company in Asia and I look forward to working with the InMobi team.‚

This partnership will provide Softbank and InMobi with opportunities to further explore global scale collaboration in the fast growing mobile ad market. It is also expected to generate further synergies between InMobi and Softbank, given the significant number of prominent Asian Internet companies in Softbank’s investment portfolio.

John Doerr, Managing Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said: ‚InMobi is a rapidly growing company in one of the most explosive technology sectors. InMobi delivers extraordinary value to publishers and advertisers globally. They are a leader in the mobile advertising revolution.‚

Ram Shriram, Founder of Sherpalo Ventures added: ‚InMobi joins a select set of companies globally that have achieved massive scale in a short period of time. This investment is a strong validation of the mobile opportunity across the globe and InMobi’s ability to exploit to its full potential. Mobile and Smart Phones are changing the world for consumers, businesses, advertisers and publishers.”

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