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Sequoia & Bharti Buy Sanjiv Mittal Stake In Comviva; Mittal Sets Up Saarthi Enterprises

Sanijv Mittal has resigned as the Vice Chairman of Bharti Enterprises owned Mobile Value Added Services company Comviva Technologies Ltd. He ceased to be a member of the companys Promoter Group effective 31st December 2008 onwards, and resigned as Vice Chairman of the board on the 23rd of April 2009.

Confirming the development, Mittal said that he wanted to move on, and has sold the largest proportion of his shares in Comviva. His stake has been acquired by parent company Bharti Enterprises and existing Comviva investor Sequoia Capital. June 30th will be Mittal’s last day with the company.

According to documents in MediaNama’s possession, as of 13th March 2009, Mittal had held 7.87% shares of ordinary shares in Comviva. Mittal confirmed this, but added that he also had preferential shares, declining to share details of the deal. As of March 19th 2009, Bharti Enterprises owned 75.03% in the company, though that would have changed with the acquisition of a part of Mittal’s stake.

Mittal plans to spend time in mentoring activities, and has set up a mentoring organization called Saarthi Enterprises, to help small and medium companies: taking a stake in some companies, and in some cases, investing money as well. He has been active on the startup circuit, and at present, is mentoring 7-8 companies.

In 2001, Mittal had done a management buyout of a struggling Comviva (some details here), then known as Bharti Telesoft, when he had joined the company. He led the revival of Comviva, and the company subsequently raised money from Sequoia Capital and Cisco in 2005. He remained the CEO of the company till late 2007, when former Aricent President Manoranjan “Mao” Mohapatra joined the company. Mittal says the company is profitable, and has been so for a while.

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