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India's InMobi ramps up ad challenge to Google and Facebook

SoftBank and Microsoft back unicorn's mobile marketing network

InMobi focuses on overseas markets, as co-founder Naveen Tewari says India accounts for just 1% of the global online ad market. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

BANGALORE -- Low-profile Indian tech company InMobi aims to take advantage of the headwinds facing Google and Facebook to grab a bigger share of the nearly $140 billion market for online advertising.

The Bangalore-based company, which brings together advertisers and app developers, has already teamed up with or received investment from the likes of SoftBank Group, Microsoft and Xiaomi. As a result, InMobi is now a particularly rare breed of unicorn -- an Indian startup valued at more than $1 billion while focused primarily on overseas markets, namely the U.S. and China. It is also prowling overseas for acquisitions, last year picking up two specialized mobile ad services companies in the U.S.

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