Japanese internet major SoftBank Corp has invested $200 million in Indian mobile advertising network InMobi, making it one of the largest investments in the global mobile internet space.
The funding will take place in two tranches, $100 million in September 2011 and the remaining in April 2012, InMobi, which has presence across five continents, said in a release.
This partnership will provide Softbank and InMobi with opportunities to further explore global scale collaboration in the fast growing mobile advertisement market.
"With a global leader like Softbank behind us, we are now well positioned to fully capitalize on the opportunity before us through substantially increased product innovation, deeper market penetration, and acquisitions across the mobile ad value chain,'' InMobi Founder and Chief Executive Officer Naveen Tewari said.
InMobi had earlier raised about $15 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures, intends to use the funds to "chase its ambition of building the largest mobile internet company in the world", Tewari said.
''I hope the partnership with InMobi, a fast growing start-up 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 number one Internet company in Asia and I look forward to working with the InMobi team,'' Softbank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said.
The company, founded in 2007, is an independent mobile advertising network and reaches 340 million customers in over 165 countries.
The largest deal in the Indian internet space this year includes the acquisition of a major stake in TutorVista by UK-based publishing house Pearson for Rs 577 crore.
In the online commerce space, consumer deals provider Snapdeal raised $40 million from a clutch of investors at a valuation of Rs1,000 crore. While e-commerce company, Flipkart raised $20 million from New York-based private equity firm Tiger Global.
In August, the company had acquired US-based mobile advertising firm Sprout for up to $50 million.