Mobile Startup Jana Gets $57 Million From Verizon Ventures for Expansion
Mobile ad start up company Jana recently got a $57 million funding from Verizon Ventures to expand its mobile ads in several developing countries.
Based on the information from Recode , the $57 million Series C round in is purely an investment and not indicative of the telco's broader strategy. As it has been confirmed by Jana CEO Nathan Eagle who said that the main reason of this expansion is to give billions of people internet access.
Jana is set to expand its business and create new sales support team to key markets. Eagle added that the company would primarily use the funds to create starting teams in Jana's key target market, like India and Brazil. It also plans to set aside a portion for its initial expansion in China, which the CEO promised to start in teh second quarter of the year.
This $57 million back up funds will be the stepping stone to provide free mobile data by viewing or interacting with advertisements through Jana's android application, called mCent. With this application, people will be able to access all parts of web.
Tech Crunch noted that this free mobile data solution is provided by the startup because of the crippling cost of data. This high cost data becomes the main barrier to connectivity for several countries such as Indonesia, India and Brazil.
As an example, one of Jana's client, Saavn (one of the popular India-based music streaming service), gives 10 free songs to listen to anytime people want.
As reported by Forbes, since its establishment in early 2014, mCent has reached more than 30 million people who received an average of 56 megabytes of data per month. In this case, two-thirds of that business is in India, which is mCent's current lead market.
The site noted that mCent is dubbed as the second largest mobile ad platform in India after Google. This claim was also confirmed by Eagle who said that when India people wanted Google search, they would engage with mCent first.
In addition, Jana Inc is supported by 311 carier partnerships that allow it work with more than 3,000 brands in India including other countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and China.
Apart from expansion, Jana is also experiencing a significant change and development inside its premises. Tim Armstrong, the CEO of TechCrunch parent AOL, is boarding the company as an advisor alongside Publicis CEO Maurice Levy.