Google is in early talks to buy InMobi, one of the industry’s leading mobile ad networks in a deal thought to be worth around $1 billion, according to two sources familiar with the deal who spoke to The Economic Times. The sources are quoted as saying that Google is being forced to scale up to counter Facebook’s surging growth in mobile.
“Things were different last year, both for Google and InMobi. While Google was not facing the amount of heat it’s witnessing today from Facebook on mobile, InMobi too was confident of raising another funding comfortably,” the sourced said.
It is believed that Ram Shriram of Sherpalo Ventures, an early investor in both companies, had played a role in the talks.
InMobi, who are headquartered in Bangladore, India, chose not to exhibit at Mobile World Congress this year in a move that many industry gossip-mongerers regarded as conspicuous considering that InMobi is a global powerhouse in the mobile advertising market. However, InMobi were attending the event and had a hotel-suite off-site. It was there that VAN spoke to Atul Satija, the InMobi CRO, who said that native mobile video formats would enable smaller publishers to compete with Facebook and – you guessed it -Google. You can view that interview here.