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Weekly Digest (9th-13th Feb 2009): A Mixed Month For Mobile VAS

Date: 9th to 13th Feb 2009
Segments: Editorial, Editors Picks, Discussion, Poll Results, Articles, Industry News, Events, Jobs

February has been a mixed month for the Mobile Value Added Services business – firstly, there was a show of faith in new technology as Canaan Partners backed upstart MCarbon; we particularly liked the fact that they’re innovating on SMS by introducing session based SMS menus.

Bigger, sobering news was to follow last week with a relatively unknown entity called Altruist acquiring Mobile2Win. One industry exec commented on Facebook that the deal is disappointing as an all stock deal, with no cash component. I found this deal disappointing for one particular reason – the communication that the combined entity clocks Rs. 200 crores in revenue; that would make it the second largest Mobile VAS player, and Altruist would be a significant player even at Rs. 165 crores.

Following a comment by one of our readers, we confirmed the truth from Dheeraj Agarwal, founder of Altruist: the Rs. 200 crores figure was inclusive of operator revenue share. Which means that if you assume even 25% revenue share, the combined entity clocks Rs. 50 crores in revenue, and Altruist clocks around Rs. 41.25 crores in revenue. Agarwal also told us that Mobile2Win was significantly in the red, and Altruist had taken on its debt. VCCircle further reported that the investors got only 10% in Altruist, and retained 10% in Mobile2Win. There have been rumours that investors owned around 50% of Mobile2Win, if not more. You can do the math on how low M2W was valued.

The MVAS industry has also been clearly divided between the On-deck and Off-deck players on TRAIs Draft recommendations on MVAS; we think the new guidelines are insignificant from an off-deck point of view, and only go as far as establishing transparency.

Editors Picks
TRAI Fails To Deliver On Mobile VAS Promise: Drops Key Provisions
Pyramid Saimira To Close Unviable Subsidiaries; Stake Dilution Plans

Mobile2Win Co-Founder Rajiv Hiranandani On The Altruist Merger
Mobile2Win Merges With Chandigarh Based Altruist
More recent discussions here.

Poll Results

Mobile2Win Co-Founder Rajiv Hiranandani On The Altruist Merger
Mobile2Win Merges With Chandigarh Based Altruist
Q209: Quarterly India Broadband, Dialup & Mobile Numbers; 5.45M Broadband Subscribers
Affle Sells Close To 20% To Microsoft; Valuation Delay; Acquisition Plans
Web18 Roundup: Burrp, InDrive, IM Launch; UrbanEye Relaunch; CTO Confirms Move
Microsoft Launches V2.0 Of Live Search Maps; Monetization Via API
Vodafone Takes $2 Billion Loan; Asim Ghosh Steps Down As CEO; Invests 12 crore in R&D
ValueFirst Secures $6M From NEA; Expansion Plans
MVAS Co MCarbon Raises Funding From Canaan Partners
Indian Diplomats Asked To Not Use Social Networks, P2P And Unofficial Mail Services
Dhruva Interactive Launches Casual Games Label GameTantra
Nielsen Online Arrives In India; Clarity Or Just Adding To The Confusion?
NDTV Partners With Quikr; Brand Strategy Analysis
Northgate Shuts Down Beijing, San Francisco Offices Of VoIP & IPTV Subsidiary
FDI Policy Changes For A Difficult Economy

Industry News

Zapak Launches www.13b.in
Shine.com launches Video Interview Service
Infibeam.com Partners with FutureBazaar Books Store

Please send updates related to your company at releases@medianama.com

Partner Events

March 6th: Mobile VAS Conference by The Indian Merchant Chambers

28th Feb – March 1st: Barcamp Delhi

Other Events

16-19 Feb: Mobile World Congress, Barcelona
17-19 Feb: FICCI Frames, Mumbai
20-21 Feb: Freed.in, Delhi
21-22 Feb: Wordcamp India, Delhi

To get your event listed, contact nikhil@medianama.com

To post a job at MediaNama, contact nikhil@medianama.com

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