Indian mobile VAS company Tanla Solutions has picked up an additional 5 percent stake in Tanla Oy. Tanla Oy, previously known as Openbit Oy, is a Tampere, Finland headquartered mobile payments company that Tanla Solutions had acquired 85 percent stake in for $15.8 million in, in June 2008. With this acquisition, Tanla Solutions’ stake in Tanla Oy has increased its stake to 90 percent.
According to Tanla Solutions, in the Jan-March quarter of 2009, Openbit did Rs. 32 crores in revenues, and reported a profit of Rs. 8.12 crores, as opposed to a profit of Rs. 5.97 crores in the previous quarter.
Openbit provides on-device payment solutions to software vendors and content distributors, and claims to have billing agreements with 100 operator networks in 30 countries, though Premium Short Messaging Services (PSMS), and with major credit cards in 150 countries. The PSMS based businesses appear to be key for Tanla. One problem they have had, is when Nokia stopped selling their maps through Premium SMS’ in India, because of revenue share issues with telecom operators, and began offering the same through credit card and debit card. The company is looking to add the S50 platform to allow them to grow their Nokia Map business, which is embedded in handsets and payment gateways.
Above all, Openbit has Nokia as a client, which is also among Tanla’s key clients. Last month, Tanla Solutions had announced that Anoop Roy Kundal, Director- Operations was to move to Finland to head Openbit operations, and strengthen the companys relationship with Nokia. The company was also working on a deal for the Openbit management to stay back for 3-4 years, and was considering an ESOP plan for them.
Do take a look at our coverage of Tanla’s Q4-09 Financial Results