Take a deeper look at the meteoric rise of Glance that may have caught Mukesh Ambani’s eye

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Take a deeper look at the meteoric rise of Glance that may have caught Mukesh Ambani’s eye
Glance.com/BI India
  • Glance is not an app, rather it’s a built-in feature of Android phones that pushes personalised content on lock screen.
  • Glance is a brainchild of InMobi, India’s first digital company to be valued over a billion dollars.
  • Glance has over 140 million daily active users already due to its strong presence in sub-$250 smartphones in India.
Reliance has penetrated almost every aspect of our lives — whether it's through their telecom and internet services, ecommerce and retail network, oil and gas business or its bundle of digital services.

The Mukesh Ambani-led company has now reportedly set its eyes on tapping into a wide array of Android phones as well, with a $300 million investment in Glance. This may be an interesting development, especially when Reliance plans to launch its own Android smartphone JioPhone Next.

Glance is not an app, rather it’s a built-in feature of Android phones. When users that have Glance enabled on their phones, wake their Android smartphone up, they must have noticed a catchy image with a news headline. Well, that’s the first and most basic glimpse of what Glance does. Once they swipe right, they can watch Lives as well as short video content, see photo stories and play games.

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It provides personalised content on the lockscreen, across categories like news, entertainment, tech, sports, fashion and travel. The said content is driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and is available in different languages — English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and more.

Glance has a strong presence in the Android ecosystem

Glance claims to have over 150 million daily active users. The reason for this massive growth has been its strong presence in the sub-$250 smartphone market, which makes up 80% of sales in India, says a Counterpoint Research report published in September this year.

About 79% of Glance users in India use phones priced below the $250 mark. Over 45% of Glance’s traffic comes from users using smartphones ranging between $150-250 and 12% are from users using phones below $100 price point. Users using phones priced between $100-$150 and above $250 make up another 21% each of the company’s user base.
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Take a deeper look at the meteoric rise of Glance that may have caught Mukesh Ambani’s eye
Business Insider India

The research also revealed that 70% of newly-launched smartphones in India, in the sub-$250 segment now, come pre-installed with the platform.

According to a previous press note issued by the company in December 2020, it had over 115 million daily active users who spent 25 minutes per day consuming content on Glance.

Monetisation is still underworks


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Besides organic growth and strong alliance with Google, Glance has also relied on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to build on its growth with more users and offerings. Over the last two year, it has acquired Indian short-video content platform Roposo in 2019 and e-commerce platform Shop101 in 2021.

Global expansion and monetisation of Glance has been on the agenda for InMobi this year. “The course to monetisation is important. In 2021, we will spend a lot of time trying to figure out the right experiences in monetisation,” founder and chief executive (CEO) Naveen Tewari previously told Economic Times in January 2021.

The company was also considering leveraging 3 million creators on Roposo to monitise the short video app, either by connecting them to brands or setting up social commerce on the platform. Glance provides distribution and scale for its content business and Roposo provides it with fresh user-generated content, Tewari had emphasised.

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Reliance set to launch its Android phone next month

Ambani has stressed that the JioPhone Next will be amongst the most affordable smartphones in India and globally.

The JioPhone Next will be available for purchase from October 15, delayed from the previous deadline of September 10. The price of the smartphone has not been revealed yet, but it is expected to cost ₹3,499. Reliance has plans to take it beyond India once it is rolled out in India.

Glance is a brainchild of InMobi, India’s first digital company to be valued over a billion dollars. Glance, on a standalone basis, too is valued at over a billion dollars and is backed by global tech giant Google.
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While InMobi was founded by Naveen Tewari, Mohit Saxena, Amit Gupta and Abhay Singhal in 2007, Glance was introduced to the world in 2019.

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