Jio platforms invests $200 million in glance
As mobile smart phones become the standard protocol for communication and for internet access and commerce, a new and highly valuable property is emerging. It is the lock-screen on the mobile phone, which can be used for targeted marketing and content positioning. That is exactly the business that Glance is into. With Jio looking to literally dominate the entire digital and mobile ecosystem, Glance business model is a logical fit for them.
With these synergies in mind, Jio Platforms has finalized plans to invest $200 million in Glance. Currently, Glance serves media content, news and casual games on Android handset lock-screens. This is the latest inorganic bet of the Mukesh Ambani group. With its massive customer base of over 42 crore subscribers, the lock-screen of the mobile phone becomes automatically a valuable property for Jio Platforms to leverage with the help of Glance.
Glance is already backed by global search engine giant, Google. Interestingly, Google has also invested billions of dollars into Jio Platforms as a strategic partner. Glance is currently valued at around $1.7 billion in terms of the recent fund raising done. Glance pre-installs these lock-screen apps into the hardware of popular smart phones. It already has a massive reach in excess of 40 crore people for its lock-screen property offering.
The big challenge for Glance is the short time and attention span that it gets. For instance, it has been estimated that a large number of users tend to uninstall or disable Glance before the second week of purchasing the phone. In many cases, the retail store owners selling the phones remove Glance so at to offer a non-intrusive proposition to their customers. However, Glance is extremely useful to capture the first impression impact.
Currently, Glance has established tie-ups with most of the major Android smart phone vendors including the likes of Xiaomi and Samsung, which are incidentally the two largest selling smartphones in India. The idea of the deal is that now Glance will bring its lock-screen capture technology to the JioPhone Next handsets as part of the deal. Google and Reliance have built JioPhone Next on a heavily optimized Android operating system.
However, this is just the beginning of the association and engagement between the Reliance group and Glance. Eventually, the idea is expand this relationship between Jio Platforms and Glance to further encompass other aspects of the Reliance retail engagement including its retail, commerce, content and gaming ecosystems too. Glance will expand its offerings to live content, call to action and seamless transactions from the lock-screen itself.
Jio has already disrupted the telecom and data offerings in terms of quality and price. Having made India one of the largest internet markets in the world, it plans to launch the big leap to the second level with the JioPhone Next. The economical model is expected to be hardware and software rich. The offering will be enhanced and enriched with features like the Glance lock-screen leveraging mechanism.
The bet is that the use of Glance lock-screen with JioPhone Next smartphones would lead to a paradigm shift in how users experience the internet. Above all, for Reliance, the quicker they create and put in place the ecosystem, the bigger will be the edge. For Glance, it gets the backing of a massive balance sheet and an indomitable brand name.
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