Jana Mobile Receives $15 Million Strategic Investment from Publicis Groupe
Maurice Lévy to Join Jana Board of Directors
Jana’s Mobile Platform Has Potential to Reach 3.48 Billion
PARIS -- July 15, 2013
Publicis Groupe [EURONEXT Paris: FR0000130577] (Paris:PUB) is making a $15
million strategic investment in Jana Mobile, the global company that rewards
consumer action in emerging markets such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and
Nigeria. This is the first direct investment Publicis Groupe has made in a
mobile technology startup, and as part of the $15 million investment, Publicis
Groupe Charmain and CEO Maurice Lévy will join Jana’s Board of Directors.
Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer of VivaKi, will join
Jana’s Board of Advisors.
Based in Boston, Jana has built the world's largest rewards platform in the
fastest-growing markets, where mobile airtime is often viewed as equivalent to
cash. By integrating into the billing systems of 237 mobile operators in 102
countries, Jana can instantly reward 3.48 billion emerging market consumers
with prepaid airtime in local currency. Many global corporations are already
using Jana to understand, acquire, and retain emerging market consumers.
Jana's airtime platform rewards such consumer actions as trial (registration,
app downloads), engagement (watching a video), advocacy (referring a friend),
and product purchase (airtime rebates). With every action that it rewards,
Jana delivers rich consumer insights to participating marketers.
“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.
Consumers in these dynamic markets are spending 10 percent of their daily
income on mobile airtime, while global advertisers are spending more than $150
billion to reach them through traditional advertising channels,” said Maurice
Lévy. “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. 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.”
Clients can also target offers to Jana’s membership, which is amassed through
a consumer-facing platform called mCent. In exchange for participating in an
offer, such as filling out a survey or purchasing a product, members are
rewarded with mobile airtime. Over the past six months, mCent membership has
exploded, with more than 6 million opt-in members registered and over a
million new emerging market consumers joining every month.
“Our self-serve product, launching today, enables anyone to send airtime in
over 70 currencies to billions of emerging market consumers,” said Nathan
Eagle, co-founder and CEO, Jana. “Our partnership with Publicis Groupe brings
value that goes far beyond a financial investment. Their vision, advertising
expertise and client relationships will undoubtedly create even more
opportunities for our members to earn airtime through our platform.”
Rishad Tobaccowala, who is assuming an advisory role with Jana, leads the
Ventures practice that will orchestrate the introduction of Jana across all
Publicis Groupe agencies to drive adoption and scale.
“As a digital accelerator for Publicis Groupe, VivaKi comes in contact with
many pioneering companies that empower us to move faster into key markets and
develop new products with unparalleled efficiency,” he said. “The Jana
relationship will help us disrupt traditional ad models and connect our
clients to the world’s fastest growing populations where mobile adoption is
far outpacing other technologies.”
The Publicis Groupe’s strategic investment brings Jana’s total capital raised
to approximately $25 million from investors including Todd Dagres (Spark
Capital), Rohini Chakravarty (NEA), Jon Miller (AOL / News Corp), Paul Sagan
(Akamai) and Esther Dyson.
About Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40] is one of the world’s
leading communications groups. We offer the full range of services and skills:
digital (DigitasLBi, Razorfish, Rosetta, VivaKi), creative services (BBH, Leo
Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi), public affairs, corporate
communications and events (MSLGROUP), media strategy, planning and buying
(Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia) and healthcare communications,
with Publicis Healthcare Communications Group (PHCG). Present in 108
countries, the Groupe employs 60,000 professionals.
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