Advertising traditionally has provided the business model allowing consumers to get “no additional cost” or “free” access to content, and has become an important business model for over the top Internet apps as well.
Jana prefers the term “unrestricted” Internet access to the controversial term “sponsored” access or sponsored data, but the fundamental concept is the same. User access is underwritten on behalf of the user, by an advertiser or sponsor.
Jana just announced a $57 million Series C round led by new investor Verizon Ventures and participation from existing investors Spark Capital and Publicis Groupe.
“Over 30 million users have benefited from Jana’s free, unrestricted internet access, but our goal is to reach the next billion,” said Nathan Eagle, CEO of Jana.
Following Jana’s success in India and expansion into additional key markets, such as Indonesia and Brazil, the company has ambitious plans to launch its mCent program in China.
Jana’s mCent Android app offers “free data in exchange for brand engagement, allowing users to earn data that can be used anywhere on the internet.
As the second largest mobile advertising platform in India next to Google, Jana has twice the reach of users than Free Basics (formerly Internet.org) and surpassed Facebook’s growth revenue in nine months after launching mCent in India, Jana says.
Amazon, Saavn, Twitter, and WeChat and 311 mobile carriers are partners.