Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Altruist Very Close To Acquiring Overseas Mobile VAS Firm

With this deal, Altruist Group, comprising Altruist Tech and Mobile2Win, is looking to add products and market reach. 

Chandigarh-based mobile value added services provider Altruist Group is on course to acquire an international VAS company and has set aside $25 million for the acquisition.
Without disclosing the names of the acquisition targets, Altruist India founder and CEO Dheeraj Aggarwal said, "I have been focusing on inorganic growth for some time now and feel the timing is right - valuations are again at a reasonable level.
We are looking at a company that has complimentary products and market reach." The acquisition will be completed by this fiscal year end - in the next 2 months.
The Altruist Group has 2 companies - Altruist Technologies Pvt Ltd and Mobile2Win India Pvt Ltd, which it acquired in February 2009.
Mobile2Win India Pvt Ltd was backed by Nexus India, Norwest Venture Partners, Softbank China and Silicon Valley Bank. Investors and promoters of Mobile2Win received a 10% stake in Altruist.
The acquisition will differ from the Mobile2Win acquisition in that it will be all cash, according to Aggarwal. It will be funded through internal accruals and debt.
There are two companies in consideration, both international. One Indian firm was considered but is no longer in the race.
Altruist, which offers IT and BPO solutions besides mobile VAS, claims it will register net revenues after direct expenses of $20 million this fiscal.
The company has been voraciously expanding its global reach and the big thrust, as Aggarwal put it, is in S.E.Asia and Africa. It is in the process of setting up centres in Phillippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and Uganda. It already has an Indonesia office with 18 employees.
Altruist will hire 100 within the next year and is spending Rs 25-30 crore on the international roll outs.
On the product front, Altruist is focussing on upgrading to 3G in phases. "We will upgrade a part of our hardware infrastructure to 3G to begin with and gradually scale it," said Aggarwal.
Meanwhile, the subsidiary Mobile2Win, whose target audience has been the low-end handset user, will continue to look to rural India for growth. "We focus on the lowest common denominator of handset owners as a target user.
These are typically people who buy Rs 1500- 3000 phones. There is a relative lack of social entertainment in rural India which will give rise to incremental opportunities which we will tap," said Rajiv Hiranandani, co-founder and executive Director, Mobile2Win India Pvt Ltd.
A large chunk of its revenues are driven by its white labeled voice chat application - (Airtel Friendz Chat), followed by its mobile career portal JobsonPhone.com and its subscription and content business. Read More On  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/04/idINIndia-54653920110204

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