Africa is one of the fastest growing handset markets in the world. In a rather surprised move mobile advertising network InMobi has closed its offices in Africa and Russia, according to a report from Business Daily.
The move from InMobi comes due to a rejection of mobile advertising on the continent, despite growing mobile penetration and reliance. The company said that it is closing operations in Nairobi, South Africa and Russia and will relocates its operations to either its Dubai or London based offices.
According to the company, it will continue to service all markets affected by these changes through centralised sales teams located in regional centres.
A statement issued by the company said, “Like all successful and growing businesses, we routinely review our business to determine where we need to align investment based upon growth opportunities. Current global market conditions justify changes to the investment levels we make in certain countries in order to best structure the organisation to take advantage of the different opportunities around the world.”
Founded in 2007, InMobi claims to have 578 million customers in 165 countries world-wide. It also has more than 93.4-billion mobile ad impressions monthly. Of those, 35.4-million are in Africa, with the continent generating 10% of the total ad impressions.
After venturing into mobile advertisement segment, the company initially banked on mobile web publishers to generate revenue through Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS)via Mobile Phone Networks billing.
InMobi started its African operation only last year and is now saying goodbye to the continent as it looks to improve investment efficiencies. The African mobile ad market is estimated to be valued at $200 million, which is a tiny part of the global mobile ad market’s value at over $8 billion. Research Company Informa Telecoms & Media says that by end of 2012 the number of mobile handset internet users could exceed 71 million in Africa,
In Sep. 2011, InMobi received a US$200 million investment from Japanese mobile operator Softbank, and counts Asia as its largest market.
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