The company will take its live commerce solutions including Roposo as well as its recent gaming acquisition, Gambit, to the US market over the course of the year.
Glance’s US aspirations comes at a time when technology behemoth Apple said last week that its lock screen has improved personalisation, resulting in heated competition for the Indian firm.
“Glance is designed to provide lock screen experiences on Android smartphones. Android is the leading OS (operating system) globally with close to 70% market share. In the US itself, Android has more than 45% market share; we have always targeted this substantial and highly lucrative market in the US,” Naveen Tewari, founder and chief executive, InMobi, told ET, referring to competition from Apple.
“This development does not change anything so far as our plans for this market are concerned. We are backed by Google, which owns the Android ecosystem, and we will continue to march ahead,” Tiwari added.
Apart from its core mobile advertising business-to-business (B2B) vertical, InMobi Group also houses Glance, live commerce platform, e-commerce platform, Shop101, Roposo and its recent acquisition of Indian gaming company, Gambit, which is its business-to-consumer (B2C) business.
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Through partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Glance sits as the default lock screen on phones if enabled by users. It provides live commerce streaming, news and gaming services apart from other things on the lock screen.
“Glance is already 6-9 months ahead in the growth curve, and its entry into the US. Roposo will start its journey (to the US market) in the next few months. So, they are not necessarily coming to the US at the same time. But we see an opportunity to not only build Glance in the US, but also live creator commerce and believe there’s a big play in gaming which we will also take to the US,” Tewari told ET.
Over one and a half years, the group’s B2C business has contributed almost 33-35% of its overall revenues from 10-15% earlier.
Glance is now bolstering its monetisation play in India by launching digi-commerce on the platform in the next three months, where consumers can either award creators for the entertainment, or be a part of the experience by buying virtual currency or coins on the platform.
Simultaneously, the company also plans to launch NFTs and tokens in the next six months.
Recently, local content platform Verse Innovation, which mopped up $805 million recently, also said it has plans to enter into the Web3 space.
Glance, which became a unicorn in 2020 after an investment from Google and Mithril Capital, also raised $200 million from
The strategic investment was also to forge a partnership with mobile operator Jio, and Glance being preinstalled on the Jio phones as a lock screen, while also looking at other partnerships for live commerce and gaming for the Reliance Industries stable.
“The Jio partnership is an interesting one since many of (their) consumers are new to the internet. And the question is whether we can shape their gaming and entertainment behaviour on these devices. It is the first experience their users will have on the smartphone,” said Rohan Choudhary, vice president and general manager, Glance Feed.
According to InMobi Group co-founder and president of Glance, Piyush Shah, the lock-screen platform is present in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, with plans to expand to Japan apart from the US. It is now expecting to take live commerce and gaming in some of these markets.
Indonesia is its second largest market after India.
In the next three years, the US market will also contribute a sizable share to business, with the revenue share of its home market India coming down from the current 90%, Shah said.
“US is a high ARPU (average revenue per user) market, but India is also high scale. From a revenue mix standpoint, I can hazard a guess that the US will be 30-35% of revenues. And India will be a good 70% of the rest of the revenues (roughly 45% overall) of the rest of the left revenues,” Shah said.
In October, Roposo, acquired by Glance in 2019, had pivoted from being a short-video app to a live commerce entity. It had acquired ecommerce platform Shop101 in June last year to bolster its entertainment-led ecommerce aspirations.
While Roposo on Glance helps in distribution of products, Shop101 acts as a backend machinery for logistics and fulfilment of orders. At present, Glance has over 173 million users in India and an estimated 25 million users across Southeast Asia.
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