Google is rumored to be interested in acquiring ad network player InMobi, a direct competitor to Google's AdMob, and supposedly willing to pay $1 billion for the eight-year-old India vendor that claims to have one billion users across the globe.
Google acquired AdMob in 2009 for $750 million and revamped the platform in 2013. Its focus is on helping developers create advertising revenue streams.
The potential acquisition of InMobi comes as tech companies are still striving to grab the golden ring in mobile advertising as an increasing number of consumers embrace mobile devices and related mobile device activities such as shopping and mobile payments.
If the acquisition happens it also illustrates how India-based companies are gaining stature and attention in the Internet space, says Mohit Bhatnagar, of venture capitalist firm Sequoia Capital.
"The India startup opportunity is being discussed in global boardrooms.There is good reason for this rising interest from global investors. The valuations of Indian internet companies have soared with increased net access boosting the topline," said Bhatnagar.
The news report, which cites people familiar with the matter, describes the potential acquisition scenario as being in early talk stage. InMobi is valued between $1 billion and $2 billion and its client list includes the likes of Microsoft, Yamaha Motor, sports giant Adidas and beauty vendor Lancome.
The performance-based advertising network serves up billions of ads on a daily basis and was initially started as a SMS-based search system. Its latest round of funding was $5 million in late summer of 2014.
InMobi recently acquired Sprout, a HTML5 authoring platform for mobile rich media. It claims to provide the greatest monetization for game developers and has served up over 1 billion uniques in Q4, according to an announcement.
"Reaching over a billion mobile devices significantly impacts the scale InMobi is able to provide to advertisers, brands and app developers. App developers in need of users in their preferred markets can now choose from one billion mobile devices to install campaigns," states the announcement.