Today is a big day for us at Jana. We’re thrilled to announce that we have raised $57 million in Series C funding, led by our new investor, Verizon Ventures, with participation from our existing investors, Spark Capital and Publicis Groupe. Additionally, Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL, has agreed to serve on our advisory board.
Our mission is simple, yet ambitious: we want to make the Internet free for the next billion people. The last year and a half has been quite the wild ride. Since we launched our mCent app in July 2014, more than 30 million users in 15 of the fastest-growing emerging markets have benefited from free, unrestricted Internet. We are now the second largest mobile advertising platform in India next to Google. And, we have partnered with 311 mobile operators around the world to expand our reach into new markets.
Most importantly, we’ve helped users like Shamima and Daniel gain access to the Internet and we’re closer than ever to achieving our mission.
In addition to investing in our current technology, we plan to use this latest investment to officially expand into China, a market that will experience a 191% increase in mobile ad spend by 2018. Additionally, we’ve been building a team specifically focused on China. This team, which includes representatives from engineering, product, and sales, will work directly with our customers and users in the country. We now have partnerships with the three largest mobile operators in the market—China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom—and we're laser focused on localizing our mCent app and building our user base in China in the coming year.
Jana means “people” in Sanskrit, and our people are the lifeblood of this business. A big “thank you” to the entire Jana team, our users, and our customers for getting us to where we are today. We are extremely excited to enter this next stage of our company’s growth and serve as the gateway to free Internet for millions more in the years to come.