December 6, 2023

Glance, a subsidiary of ad technology giant InMobi Group, plans to launch its lock screen platform on Android smartphones in the United States within two months, according to a source familiar with TechCrunch.

The deliberations are ongoing and confidential, the source, who requested anonymity, said that the startup is dealing with wireless carriers in the United States for partnerships and is preparing to launch several smartphone models by next month.

Valued at around $2 billion, Glance offers media content, current affairs, and casual games on the lock screen of Android devices. The source said the service, which has amassed a presence on about 400 million smartphones in Asian markets, is building a “premium offering” for the US, where individuals have a greater tendency to pay for digital services.

A Glance spokesperson declined to comment on Tuesday. The startup said in February that it plans to expand globally in the coming years.

The association with US carriers is a shift in strategy for Glance, which maintains direct relationships with nearly every Android smartphone maker in Asia. But in the US, most smartphone sales are controlled by carriers and phones are sold with mobile data plans.

Three-year-old Glance is largely credited with identifying an opportunity to serve content on the lock screen, a valuable property whose monetization has enabled smartphone vendors to boost their revenue in recent years. The startup customizes the content feed on the lock screen based on users’ interests, prompting them to engage deeply with the content.

In a move that cemented the Glance model, Apple said last month that it would revamp the lock screen on iOS with widgets, real-time information, and other personalization features.

Glance’s rapid adoption has helped attract several prominent investors including Google and Jio Platforms, India’s largest telecom company with more than 420 million subscribers.

In recent months, the startup has been testing live commerce on its platform and is also collaborating with TV vendors to get a glimpse of customers’ TV operating systems. Glance is also a flagship offering in Pragati OS, the custom Android operating system developed by Google and Jio Platforms for affordable smartphones.

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