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Japan's SoftBank invests $200 mn in InMobi

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InMobi, an independent mobile advertising network provider, has raised about $200 million from SoftBank Corp, a Japan-based Internet company — one of the the largest investments in the mobile internet advertisement space.

According to InMobi, the funding will take place in two equal tranches, in September 2011 and April 2012. The company said this would help it in create value across the mobile ecosystem globally, through advertising and mobile payments. SoftBank would also get a representation on InMobi’s board of directors.

Founded in 2007 by Naveen Tewari, a former McKinsey consultant, the Bangalore-based company had earlier raised about $15 million in two rounds from Sherpalo Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

is an active player in the mobile advertising market following the rise in smartphone use and had recently acquired US-based company Sprout. With the buyout, the company had acquired the capability of creating for mobile phones and multimedia-rich smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and Android-based handsets. “With a global leader like Softbank behind us, we are now well-positioned to fully capitalise on the opportunity before us.” said Tewari in a statement.

InMobi, which has offices in London, San Francisco, Bangalore, Tokyo, Nairobi and Singapore, plans to expand its presence in North America and Europe. The company's largest market is Asia followed by North America and Europe.

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