Update: In an inteview with MediaNama, Rajiv Hiranandani said that the combined entity expects to close this fiscal year with a combined revenue of Rs. 200 crores, not Rs. 350 crores as has been quoted elsewhere. Excerpts from that interview coming up shortly.
Mobile2Win (India) has inked a deal to merge with the Altruist, reports Economic Times, the combined entity claiming to form the fourth largest mobile VAS company in India by revenue – with Mobile2Win revenues at Rs. 35 crore and Altruists at Rs. 165 crore in FY08.
Frankly, the deal doesn’t come as much of a surprise: the grapevine on Mobile2Win is that they’ve been looking for a buyer for quite some time, though this, interestingly, is a share swap deal. Do keep in mind that in 2006, Disney had bought Mobile2Win (China).
Altruist Technologies, founded in 2005 by Dheeraj Aggarwal, has 12 offices in India according to its website, and provides “Voice and Web Based Value Added Services, Business Process Outsourcing , Information Technology and Interactive Communication solutions to Carrier, WASP, ISP, CSP and Corporate clients”. Among it’s “future websites”, Altruist lists jobsonphone.com, shaadionphone.com and indiamobilechat.com.
The Deal: Investors Getting A Bigger Playing Field?
While the details of the share-swap deal have not been disclosed, it appears that Mobile2Win investors Norwest Venture Partners, Nexus India Capital, Softbank China and Silicon Valley Bank will get shares in Altruist, while Altruist co-founders, brothers Dheeraj and Anuj Aggarwal will get a stake in Mobile2Win. So is this deal more about the investors getting a bigger playing field?
In 2006, Nexus India Capital and Norwest Venture Partners had announced an investment of $15 million in Mobile2Win. Former Disney country Manager Rajat Jain, who had joined Mobile2Win in 2007, will join the Altruist board. Note that shortly after Jain joined M2W, Tushar Shah, another Disney India exec joined the company.
The Number 4 Spot…Or Is It Number 1?
Claims are, well, claims. Given that Mobile2Win has primarily been operating in the mobile marketing space, we wonder whether their revenues have been impacted by the 2008-09 downturn. Dheeraj Aggarwal expects the Altruist-Mobile2Win combine expects to close FY09 with aggregated revenues of Rs. 350 crores. (Updated Above) Someone should remind them that OnMobile, the largest player in the MVAS space in India has averaged revenues of Rs. 84.5 crores in the lastthree quarters, and by maintaining that average, should close the year at approximately Rs. 340 crores for FY09. So now does the Altruist-Mobile2Win combine claim the number 1 spot, at an expected Rs. 350 crores? Maybe Altruist and Mobile2Win would like to share their P&L statements with us (at email@example.com).
Other large VAS players include Bharti Telesoft (Airtel Group), Cellebrum Technologies (Spice Group), IMI Mobile and One97 Communications.