(by Saptarishi Datta & Nikhil Pahwa)

Ybrant Digital, a Hyderabad based digital marketing company which acquired Lycos last year, has announced its intention to acquire a minority stake in the Israel based Web 3.0. Ybrant already has a presence in Israel, through its $13.5 million acquisition of Oridian. Earlier this year YBrant raised $48 million in fresh financing, in debt and equity from Oak India Investments, and existing investors Asia Pacific Capital, ICICI Bank. Around 50% of those funds (give or take a little) were to be used for acquisitions, and the rest for organic growth.

What Web 3.0 Does

Founded in 2006, Web 3.0 provides mobile marketing, peformance based marketing and smartphone development (as per a translated version of their Hebrew site). It claims to be the exclusive representative of Yahoo Israel, and has a media sales entity Web3Media, and a performance based advertising network called Pareto; and SuperGlue, for development of WebApps, Facebook Apps and mobile apps. From what we’ve seen, Ybrant typically makes acquisitions for geographical expansion, and acquiring a sales force or an audience for serving advertising. In this case, the investment could be about extending Ybrant’s development capability to mobile and Facebook, or offering Web 3.0’s services to Ybrant’s clients.

Besides proprietary media such as Lycos, Gamesville, getMedia in Latin America and several travel websites in Australia, Ybrant Digital claims to partner with global publishers such as Facebook, Google, MSN, Yahoo!, and Viacom, and assists over 140 top Ad Agencies including OMD, Carat, MediaCom, Group M, Quasar, Razorfish, Mindshare, Maxus, OmniCom and Oglivy, spread across Europe, the Americas and Asia.

YBrant acquisitions:

– Minority stake in Web 3.0
Lycos (Details; Interview)
– Argentinian co Dream Ad (read more)
– Australian co Max Interactive details
– US-based DW Net Ventures LLC  (aka MediosOne) for $4 million in April 2006; DW Net Ventures was a banner ad provider,
– Wordcents LLC, an online ad network,
– Serbia-based Seenetix for its flagship bulk emailing product VoloMP; paid $2.2 million) in April 2006,
–US- based Pennyweb Inc in July 2006 (doing business as AdDynamix) for $10 million; performance based online ad network
– Israel-based Oridian for $13.5 million.

Another advertising network, Komli Media, is also spreading its wings: it acquired South East Asian media sales house Aktiv Digital, Post Click in Australia, and Indoor Media in the UK.