BuzzCity, which runs a mobile advertising network and social networking site called myGamma.com has raised $10 million of growth capital from Naspers, the South African parent of MIH. BuzzCity CEO Lai Kok Fung has said on the mygamma blog, that this is for a 25 percent stake in the company. Naspers was more interested in the mobile advertising side of the business than paid services, which Buzz City launched with.
Initial Investors Exit: The 3i Group, BancBoston Capital and Singapore Press Holdings Multimedia (SPHM) have exited, though SPHM will retain a small stake. What’s interesting is that BuzzCity had received $10 million in its second round of funding as well…so have these investors exited even at par? Fung has said that BuzzCity is “financially viable with earnings that adequately meet our operating expenses.”
Update: Was Naspers brought in just to give BuzzCity investors an exit?
On Buzz City India and Ibibo
India is their second largest market after Indonesia, with claims of 6,69,000 users here. On the ad network side, Buzz City claimed to have advertisers and publishers like HDFC Standard Life, Indiatimes, Tata AIG, Nazara, ICICI Bank and Kodak. The company launched their India operations in 2005, and Milind Naik and Manish Mishra represent Buzz City here.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in India – Naspers also has a 30 percent stake in ACL Wireless which has its own mobile community – frenzo, and Ibibo also has a significant mobile community play. Everyone’s talking Mobile in India, and more and more communities and social applications are being launched here, the idea being that there are enough mobile users to go around.
So how big is the Mobile Internet base in India?