Jio Platforms invests $200M in Glance to serve media content, news, and casual games on the lock screen of smartphones
Over a decade since the launch of the iPhone, smartphone users are now inundated with a deluge of mobile apps, making it difficult to know which one to choose from. Today, an average smartphone user probably has about a dozen of apps on their device. These apps tend to clutter the phone screen. What about if there is a way to avoid searching and downloading apps even when your smartphone is in lock screen mode?
That’s the problem one tech startup has just solved. Glance is an Indian startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to serve media content, news, and casual games on the lock screen of smartphones. Since its launch, Glance has amassed more than 100 million daily active users.
For those of you who may be thinking you have to download another able to enjoy the benefits, Glance is not an app but a built-in feature of smartphones that provides personalized content driven by artificial intelligence-driven and that too in various regional languages. Glance currently supports the English language and other Indian languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Bahasa.
The startup has created two of the most disruptive digital platforms – Glance and Roposo. Glance has redefined the way the internet is consumed on the lock screen, removing the need for searching and downloading apps. To date, over 400 million smartphones now come enabled with Glance’s next-generation internet experience.
Today, Glance announced that Reliance (Jio Platforms) has announced its intention to invest $200 million in the company. Glance is an unconsolidated subsidiary of InMobi, which is still the majority owner and drives the monetization engines for the Glance business. The Series D round of funding. The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
The proposed investment by Jio is aimed at accelerating Glance’s launch in several key international markets outside of Asia such as the USA, Brazil, Mexico and Russia. The company is aiming to create the world’s largest live content and commerce ecosystem on the lock screen and will use the funds raised to expand globally. In addition to Jio Platforms, Glance is also backed by technology giant Google and Silicon Valley-based venture fund Mithril Capital.
Concurrent with the proposed investment, Glance has also entered into a business partnership arrangement with Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (“Reliance Retail”), providing for Glance’s ‘lock screen platform’ to be integrated into the JioPhone Next smartphones to transform the internet experience for millions of Jio users. This is the latest in a series of strategic partnerships between Glance and global players in the mobile ecosystem. The deal is also expected to lead to further strategic collaborations between Glance, Reliance Retail, and Jio across devices, commerce, content, and gaming ecosystem.
Today, Glance’s lock screen platform is present on more than 400 million devices across markets in Asia. Glance has made it possible for users to experience the best of the internet without searching, downloading any apps, or even unlocking their phones. It has accomplished this by pioneering personalized, AI-driven content, live entertainment commerce, and gaming on the lock screen.
Jio is pioneering the digital services ecosystem in India with a transformational impact on the Indian digital ecosystem over the last 5 years. Jio aims to support innovation, enterprise, and solutions in the tech-digital space and has emerged as one of the most active digital accelerators for the Indian market, having backed several exciting next-level technologies and entrepreneurial teams.
Speaking about its investment in Glance, Akash Ambani, Director, Jio Platforms Limited said, “Glance has grown at a phenomenal pace over the past two years and has given users a truly unique solution by unlocking the power of the lock screen for experiencing the internet, live content, creator-driven entertainment commerce, and gaming. With the help of this investment, Glance expects to launch in several key markets globally as well as extend the experience to millions of Jio users, further reinforcing our commitment to provide the most advanced and next-level tech and digital ecosystem for consumers in India and beyond.”
Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO of InMobi Group said, “Mr. Mukesh Ambani has been a source of immense inspiration for me since my early days and it is an honor to have Jio becoming a strategic partner in our journey. Jio’s investment in Glance brings a deep synergy of vision and philosophy. Jio is a truly disruptive company. It made internet accessible for millions of users, making India one of the largest internet markets in the world. Reliance is now disrupting the smartphone market with the launch of its JioPhone Next smartphones. Jio’s investment into Glance and Glance’s presence on the lock screen of JioPhone Next smartphones will lead to a paradigm shift in how its users experience the internet.
Piyush Shah, Co-founder of InMobi Group and President & COO of Glance, said, “Glance has created a disruptive lock screen-first discovery platform for live content, commerce and gaming in Asia, and we intend to scale it globally going forward. Jio’s investment is a huge validation of this vision and gives us the firepower to take the innovative experience of Glance to surfaces across the world. We look forward to working with Jio to build the content, creator, and commerce ecosystem of the future, together.”
Morgan Stanley acted as the exclusive financial advisor and Khaitan & Co. acted as the legal counsel to Glance. White & Case and K Law acted as the legal counsels and Ernst & Young provided accounting and tax due diligence services to Jio Platforms.
Founded in 2019, Glance is a consumer internet company that has created two of the most disruptive digital platforms – Glance and Roposo. Roposo has revolutionized commerce by launching a destination for creator-led live entertainment commerce. Headquartered in Singapore, Glance is an unconsolidated subsidiary of InMobi Group and is funded by Jio Platforms, Google, and Mithril Capital.