The move, analysts said, is aimed at bolstering RIL’s 4G smartphone JioPhone Next, which it co-developed with Google, and is important to India’s telecom market leader Reliance Jio Infocomm’s bid to reach 500 million subscribers from 421 million. the end of December.
JPL is the parent company of Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio).
The Series D funding round values the Singapore-based internet company at about $1.8 billion, according to a person familiar with the development.
After the deal closes, JPL will own 17% of Glance.
“Glance will integrate with the revolutionary Pragati OS jointly developed by Jio Platforms and Google to bring live content to the lock screen for millions of Jio users,” RIL said in a statement on Monday.
JPL did not respond to ET’s queries on the Glance valuations and the stake in the RIL unit.
The latest planned investment makes Glance the 14th technology company under JPL’s umbrella, with the latter taking a 25% stake in both platforms of the deep-rooted Silicon Valley tech startup.
The latest agreement is also expected to lead to further strategic collaboration between Glance, Reliance Retail and Jio across devices, commerce, content and gaming ecosystem, the statement said.
“Glance has grown at an incredible pace over the last two years and has given users a truly unique solution by unlocking the power of the lock screen,” said Akash Ambani, Director, Jio Platforms. “With this investment, Glance expects to expand into several key markets globally and extend the experience to millions of Jio users…”
After this deal, Glance can be set as the default lock screen on Jio phones.
In the past, Glance has partnered with other phone makers, including Xiaomi and Oppo.
Jio will also integrate games content and other features on the Glance lock screen over time, one of the sources said.
“Jio Platforms makes a significant investment in a niche technology company, but as Glance’s lock screen platform integrates with JioPhone Next to transform the mobile internet experience, the goal seems clear to enhance the value proposition of a budget smartphone. Current price point and 2G to 4G conversion, which was the device last November It hasn’t happened since launch,” said a sector analyst at a leading global brokerage.
Jio and Google launched the latter’s “affordable 4G smartphone” running the latter’s Pragati operating system in November last year. Priced at Rs 6,499, the device has been called expensive by price-sensitive 2G customers, whom Jio plans to lure to 4G, analysts said.
Glance said it will use the funds to double down on growth in Asia, as well as launch in key global markets such as the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Russia.
Founded in 2019, Glance’s lock screen platform is on 400 million devices and the company aims to be the world’s largest live content and commerce ecosystem on the lock screen.
“Glance allowed users to experience the best of the web without having to search for any apps or even unlock their phones,” explains Glance, which pioneered personalized, AI-driven content, live entertainment commerce and games on the lock screen. was its distinguishing factor.
An unconsolidated subsidiary of ad tech company InMobi, Glance is also backed by Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital.
“Jio’s investment in Glance brings deep synergy of vision and philosophy,” InMobi Group founder Naveen Tewari said in a statement.
Morgan Stanley acted as exclusive financial advisor and Khaitan & Co acted as legal advisor to Glance.
White & Case and K Law acted as legal counsel and Ernst & Young provided accounting and tax audit services for Jio Platforms.