Naveen Tewari, CEO and co-founder at InMobi. (Source: InMobi)

InMobi Ready For Bolder Bets, Plans India Expansion

Mobile advertising firm InMobi said it’s not in a rush for an initial public offering as India’s first privately held billion-dollar startup turned profitable nearly a decade after inception. The priority for the SoftBank Group Corp-backed company is scaling up business in India.

“The first phase of the company was about survival and the second about focusing on the business model, followed by scaling up,” Naveen Tewari, co-founder and chief executive officer of InMobi, said in an interview to BloombergQuint. “Now, we are at a stage of taking bigger and bolder bets that we didn’t think we would take a few years ago.”

InMobi will start prepping for the IPO in the coming two years. “The space is extremely large and there is a lot of time. We are not in a hurry.”

Founded in 2007, the ad discovery platform said in April that it reported an operational profit for the year ended March. The company that became the first Indian unicorn in 2011 grew on the back of its focus on core areas and its China operations.

The U.S. is InMobi’s largest revenue-generating market, followed by China, which now accounts for 28 percent of its sales, Tewari said without sharing other numbers. About 75 percent of its investments are for the two markets. The firm now eyes an aggressive expansion in India.

“The market is very large in India and we have made a significant investment,” he said. “We want to partner very closely to help build long-term advertising supported business for them (Indian companies),” he said.

The company, which last raised $200 million in 2011 from SoftBank, competes with giants like Facebook and Google in the mobile internet ad spending market. Digital ad spending globally is expected to reach $335 billion by 2020, according to researcher e-Marketer.