A source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that Glance, a subsidiary of edtech giant InMobi Group, is planning to launch its lock screen platform on Android smartphones in the US within two months.
The startup is tying up with wireless carriers in the US for the partnership and is set to launch multiple smartphone models by next month, the source said, requesting anonymity that discussions are ongoing and private.
Glance, which is valued at around $2 billion, offers media and current affairs content and casual games on the lock screen of Android handsets. The service, which has a presence on nearly 400 million smartphones in Asian markets, is building out a “premium offering” for the US, where individuals are more prone to pay for digital services, the source said.
A Glance spokesperson declined to comment on Tuesday. The startup said in February that it planned to expand globally in the coming years.
The tie-up with US carriers is a change in strategy for Glance, which maintains direct relationships with nearly every Android smartphone maker in Asia. But in the US, carriers command the majority of smartphone sales and handsets are sold with mobile data plans.
Three-year-old Glance is largely credited with identifying the opportunity to serve up content on the lock screen, a prized real-estate whose monetization has enabled smartphone vendors to increase their revenues in recent years. The startup personalizes the content feed on the lock screen based on users’ interests, prompting them to engage deeply with the content.
In a move that further cemented Glance’s model, Apple last month said it would revamp the lock screen on iOS with widgets, real-time information and other personalization features.
The rapid adoption of Glance has helped it attract many high-profile investors, including Google and Jio Platforms, India’s largest telecom carrier with over 420 million customers.
In recent months, the startup has been testing live commerce on its platform and is also partnering with television vendors to bring a glimpse into its customer TV operating system. Glimpse is also a key offering in Pragati OS, a custom Android operating system developed by Google and Jio Platforms for affordable smartphones.