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Jana Mobile expands in Asia Pacific

Anuradha Shukla | July 23, 2013
Publicis Groupe invests US$15 million in the mobile technology startup.

Jana Mobile, a global company rewarding consumer action in emerging markets such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and Nigeria, is expanding in Asia Pacific.

The company is leveraging the new investment of US$15 million from Publicis Groupe to expand in the region. These funds will help Jana to reward its customers with mobile airtime in exchange for responding to surveys, making purchases, and sharing promotions. 

This is the first time Publicis Groupe has made a direct investment in a mobile technology startup.

As per the agreement between the two organisations, Maurice Lévy, Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO, joined Jana’s board of directors.

“I have been personally attracted and convinced to invest directly in this platform as I see it as the next big thing in the communication industry,” said Lévy. “Consumers in these dynamic markets are spending 10 percent of their daily income on mobile airtime, while global advertisers are spending more than US$150 billion to reach them through traditional advertising channels.”

Value beyond financial investment

Jana sees this partnership with Publicis Groupe bringing value that goes far beyond a financial investment.

The company expects the vision, advertising expertise and client relationships of Publicis Groupe to create a large number of opportunities for its members to earn airtime through Jana’s platform.

The total capital raised by Jana including the Publicis Groupe’s strategic investment is about US$25 million. Many investors including Todd Dagres (Spark Capital), Rohini Chakravarty (NEA) and Jon Miller (AOL / News Corp) have put their money and trust in the mobile technology startup.

Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategy and innovation officer, VivaKi, will join Jana’s Board of Advisors and will help introduce Jana across all Publicis Groupe agencies to drive adoption and scale.

“With its platform, Jana is changing the face of advertising by enabling us to invest in targeted, mobile-based campaigns that put advertising dollars directly into the pockets of the ‘next billion’ consumers our clients are most eager to reach,” said Nathan Eagle, co-founder and CEO, Jana. “As a result, brands become more valuable to people, and people become more economically empowered. I am confident that Jana will help consumers in those markets to have a better life.”

 

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