Mobile advertising platform Unlockd has begun operations in India, signing a partnership with Aircel and taking on investment from media company Smile.
The launch, which sees Unlockd enter its eighth market worldwide, also unveiled the company’s new ‘Aircel Open2Earn’ app. It offers Aircel users the chance to gain 10 rupees credit every week if they download the app and agree to receive ads when unlocking their phones.
Unlockd said the ‘value exchange’ model allows advertisers first access to consumers at a premium moment—before they access their phone’s functionality—and serve them personalised, ads, offers and incentives based on their behaviour and location. Users can dismiss the ad or click for more information.
“I’ve always had a vision to provide people a valuable reward for the time they spend on their devices and we can provide up to 40 rupees a month—up to 30 percent of a phone bill,” said Matt Berriman, Unlockd co-founder and CEO. “We’re excited to bring our globally proven platform to one of the world’s fastest growing and dynamic markets, one in which a billion Indian subscribers spend hours a day on mobile devices.”
Smile’s investment, which is undisclosed, will help Unlockd expand in the region through its Katalyzers global growth platform. Katalyzers helps secure leading brand partnerships, and has previously done deals with the likes of Airbnb, Yahoo, WPP Digital, Ogilvy Neo and ComScore.
Smile group co-founders Harish Bahl and Manish Vij said the investment will see local advertisers benefit from Unlockd’s platform. “We have already had very positive interest, with Nearbuy, Little, OYO Rooms and Go Paisa secured for the launch of Open2Earn, with more to come,” they said in a release.
Anupam Vasudev, Aircel CMO, said partnering with Unlockd on the Open2Earn app “will drive new revenue streams for our business and attract new customers to the network”.