Sequoia Capital funded mobile content company Nazara Technologies has tied up with New York based Cellufun, a mobile social community where people interact, play games and buy virtual merchandise. Nazara will provide Cellfun’s content on different platforms across all operators decks. Business Standard had reported recently that Nazara had revenues of Rs. 35 crores in 2008-09, and is targeting Rs. 50 crore for 2009-10.
The release doesn’t mention which operator decks, but the way things have been in India over the past 4-5 months, operators appear to have opened up their walled gardens, and are fairly keen on applications that will encourage data consumption. The advantage of operator decks is the sheer number of users that log on to them, hence increasing user acquisition, and reducing promotion costs for what should are off-deck portals. According to the release, users will be able to buy virtual goods on mobile, which suggests that billing integration will be required. Nazara has partnerships with telcos like Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, BPL (Loop), Tata Indicom and Reliance.
It’s worth noting that according to Opera’s last State of the Mobile Web report (August 2009), which tracks usage of Opera Mini, at least four of the top 10 sites accessed from India were social – orkut.com, facebook.com, youtube.com and peperonity.com.
(By Diwaskar Chettri & Nikhil Pahwa)