– OnMobile has said on its conference call that it will completely exit Ver Se Innovation by the end of this financial year.
– Ver Se Innovation appears to have done rather well during the 2009-10 fiscal. According to a directors report filed with India’s Registrar of Companies, it reported an income of Rs. 15.74 crore, Profit Before Tax of Rs. 8.32 crore, and Profit After Tax of Rs. 5.87 crore.
You have to ask – why is OnMobile in a rush to exit this venture?
Earlier today: OnMobile Global sold another 9% in Ver Se Innovation for Rs 28.59 crore on 7th February 2011, the company has disclosed in a filing, not naming the buyer. Ver Se offers classifieds on mobile – jobs, education, property and matrimonial – and while it started primarily as an SMS subscription service, according to its website, it has expanded offerings to USSD, WAP and voice. It ties up with multiple content partners to aggregate classifieds information.
OnMobile had incubated the company in 2007 with a total investment of Rs 5.5 crore, for a 51% stake, and has since been selling stake in the SMS subscription services company in tranches. According to filings MediaNama went through, OnMobile has disclosed the following stake sales in Ver Se Innovation:
– 29th September 2009: sold 5.08% for Rs. 3 crore, valuing the company at Rs. 59.05 crore (source)
– 31st July 2010: sold 8% for Rs. 11.112 crore, valuing the company at Rs 138.9 crore (source)
– 7th February 2011: sold 9% stake for Rs 28.592 crore, valuing the company at 317.69 crore (source)
Ver Se had also raised Rs. 20 crore from Matrix Partners in 2009. Given that OnMobile had said in conference call in October that its stake was down to approximately 27% following the 8% sale of stake, another 9% sale in February should bring its remaining holding down to approximately 18%.
From what we’d learned from our interaction with OnMobile on its conference call following the sale of stake in September, the company intended to eventually exit the investment, and had no plans to enter the classifieds aggregation space itself.