Publicis Groupe is set to invest $15 million in Jana Mobile, a technology startup.
Earlier investors — Todd Dagres (Spark Capital), Rohini Chakravarty (NEA), Jon Miller (AOL / News Corp), Paul Sagan (Akamai) and Esther Dyson — invested around $25 million in Jana.
Based in Boston, Jana Mobile rewards consumer action in emerging markets such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and Nigeria.
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.
This is the first direct investment Publicis Groupe has made in a mobile technology startup.
By integrating into the billing systems of 237 mobile operators in 102 countries, Jana can reward 3.48 billion emerging market consumers with prepaid airtime in local currency.
“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.
Many corporations are using Jana to understand, acquire, and retain emerging market consumers.
Clients can 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, more than 6 million opt-in members registered and over a million new emerging market consumers joining every month.