BSE listed applications company Geodesic Ltd is looking to add to its product portfolio with the acquisition in the communication and social networking space; a company with “offices globally”. The companys board has given the approval, and Geodesic MD Kiran Kulkarni told MediaNama that the acquisition should take 3-4 weeks. He declined to name the company in question, or speculate on the amount that Geodesic is looking to spend, since they have signed a Non Disclosure Agreement, and negotiations haven’t been completed.
Rationale Behind The Acquisition
Kulkarni said that unlike the acquisition of Uruguay based Interactive Networks Inc, which was about market entry and telecom operators, this one is “in the retail space”. The INI acqusition gave the company access to 12 major carriers across South America, Africa and Asia. “Telecom Operators are increasingly focusing on VAS and social networking appears to be an important proposition for everyone.”
The acquisition is also being seen as assisting in entering new markets; Kulkarni said that “combing that product opens up another pocket to address. We already have a retail play, and our mobile applications are being downloaded by people. It’s a different take from Instant Messengers, and a consumer facing application, with the possibility of entering the telecom operator space. Social Networking is important, and has become a means of communication. It’s not just restricted to teens but also 25 years and above – the paying population.”
While Kulkarni wasn’t specific about the type of application or the geography, it appears that the company is looking to acquire a social networking application that can be integrated into its Mundu suite of applications. A social networking application, in our opinion, will help complete the mobile IM loop for Geodesic: they have the Mundu IM for instant messaging, Mundu SMS for free SMS, Mundu Radio for streaming online radio and Spokn for Internet Telephony. Spokn, Geodesics retail VoIP play, is expected to launch in September.
What I find most interesting about Geodesic at this point is the increased focus on going retail. For a company that essentially provided white-labelled applications, this move towards retail appears to be about ownership of the customer. We wonder if Geodesic will play it safe and retail its key consumer facing applications at a price, or go for scale and offer applications entirely for free, looking to first build a large base of users, and then finding a way to monetize.