Glance, a subsidiary of adtech giant InMobi Group, plans to launch its lock screen platform on Android smartphones in the United States within two months, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
The startup is engaging with wireless carriers in the United States for partnerships and is preparing to launch on multiple smartphone models by next month, the source said, requesting anonymity as deliberations are ongoing and private.
Glance, valued at around $1.7 billion, brings media, news and casual games to the lock screen of Android handsets. The service, which is present on around 400 million smartphones in Asian markets, is building a “premium offering” for the United States, where individuals have a higher propensity to pay for digital services, the source said.
A spokesperson for Glance declined to comment on Tuesday. The startup said in February that it plans to expand globally in the coming years.
The tie-up with US carriers is a shift in strategy for Glance, which has direct relationships with nearly every Android smartphone maker in Asia. But in the United States, carriers control most smartphone sales, and handsets are sold with mobile data plans.
Three-year-old Glance is widely credited with spotting an opportunity to stream content to a lock screen, a prized real estate whose monetization has helped smartphone sellers boost revenue in recent years. The startup personalizes the flow of content on the lock screen based on users’ interests, inspiring them to engage deeply with content.
In a move that further cemented Glance’s model, Apple said last month that it would revamp the lock screen on iOS with widgets, real-time information and other customization features.
Glance’s rapid adoption has helped it attract several high-profile investors, including Google and Jio Platforms, India’s largest telecom operator with over 420 million subscribers.
In recent months, the startup has been testing live commerce on its platform and has also engaged with TV vendors to bring Glance to their TV customers’ operating systems. Glance is also a base offering in Pragati OS, the custom Android operating system developed by Google and Jio Platforms for affordable smartphones.