InMobi-Microsoft deal makes move into AI

InMobi evaluated the entire landscape and felt that Microsoft had the best technology

Ritu Jha


InMobi had been doing very well in mobile-based marketing, but a recent partnership with Microsoft makes it clear it plans to target larger organizations than it has in its customer base.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, announced in a press statement, “The combination of Microsoft Azure with InMobi’s marketing platforms will deliver new intelligent customer experiences and business insights to organizations around the world.”

Microsoft spokesperson Hanna Williams told indica that InMobi evaluated the entire landscape and felt that Microsoft had the best technology and GTM (go-to-market) capabilities for their needs. William did not disclose the terms of the deal.

In a press note, Naveen Tewari, CEO and founder of the India-based company said, “We’re extremely excited to partner with Microsoft as we dive into the next frontier of connected devices.”

That frontier apparently is artificial intelligence.

As Williams put it, InMobi was into advertising, not AI. She said there has been a fundamental shift in advertising and marketing, with far more advanced technologies available to marketers and an exponential increase in the ways customer connect using multiple connected devices.

She said that InMobi recognized the changing market, responding by evolving from a pure-play advertising platform to a comprehensive and integrated suite of enterprise marketing platforms. Using Azure as the foundation of its new AI-powered marketing cloud, InMobi could be among the earliest to deliver end-to-end marketing solutions to enterprise customers across connected devices. According to her, it “will now enable marketers to get a 360-degree view of every customer.”

Williams added that since data was at the core of InMobi’s advertising and marketing solutions, Azure would provide a secure and compliant platform.

Tewari backed that, saying, “With Microsoft’s global reach and advanced security, privacy and compliance, alongside InMobi’s scale and decade-long experience in mobile-first technology, we can truly disrupt the marketing ecosystem.”

It is likely this that Ravi Krishnaswamy, who headed the Azure teams at Microsoft’s India Development Center and who joined InMobi as chief technology last year had a big role in the deal. Krishnaswamy has a strong background in mobile enterprise network management, too.

Google and Facebook had tried to acquire InMobi, possibly seeing it as a threat on the horizon. Google’s 2015 offer was reportedly for $ 1 billion; Facebook’s in 2016 for $2 billion. InMobi reported a profit in that financial year.

InMobi has been recognized as a 2018 CNBC Disruptor 50 company and was reportedly valued at $2.5 billion in December 2015. It is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group and other venture capital firms. The company boasts a customer base of between 40,000 and 50,000 enterprises.

Leave a Reply