(By Preethi J & Nikhil Pahwa)
US based mobile advertising firm SinglePoint has acquired Hyderabad based M2Junction, launched barely a year ago, for an undisclosed amount. When asked if this was a cash deal or a stock deal, Gowri Shankar, President & CEO of SinglePoint declined to share the terms of the deal, saying “Let me answer it this way: it’s a good deal for the Dayakar.” Dayakar Puskoor founded M2Junction in Hyderabad in 2009 and the company had 13 employees. Shankar would not reveal the number or names of M2Junction’s clients.
Building A Marketplace For SMS Inventory; Deals With Netcore, SMS Country & Way2Sms
M2Junction owns AdJunction, an SMS/mobile advertising platform, whereas SinglePoint has a suite of products under the Single brand as well as mobile advertising and interactive TV applications. With this acquisition, SinglePoint has entered the Indian SMS advertising space, which it claims has opportunities for monetisation by publishers.
What SinglePoint plans to do in India is create a marketplace for SMS inventory – it has signed deals with Netcore, Way2Sms and SMS Country (160by2) to aggregate their inventory. The marketplace is based on an “Ask” model, where a publisher establishes the price and the inventory is bought or sold at that price. It will be launching an auction model in the very near future.
Besides aggregating inventory to offer scale to advertisers, SinglePoint will also add tracking and measurement for advertisers, something of a “Google Adsense for mobile advertisers especially for SMS,” said Shankar.
But How Is It Different, Really?
On why advertisers would bite, Shankar replied, “We are going to aggregate all inventory and offer advertisers a one stop shop and that’s the key proposition that we are offering. In India, publishers alone have not been able to do good business that is why they have joined us, because they do not have the fill rate. This is a niche market; a lot of education needs to happen. And it is not just the three; we will be adding mobile operators.”
When asked what exactly Singlepoint brings to the table, Shankar said it was variety and scale of inventory to advertisers. But don’t MyToday (Netcore) or SMS Gupshup have enough scale and variety by themselves? Why would advertisers need Singlepoint? Shankar said he disagrees with us (that the individual publishers have sufficient scale and inventory by themselves).
The company plans to initially do both direct and indirect sales “because there are a lot of sales forces that sell other media that could present the inventory”. The direct sales force will be scaled up beginning with Mumbai and Delhi. Then, the company will offer a dashboard and self service model. “That is one of the reason M2Junction merged with Singlepoint because it does cost a lot of money,” said Shankar.
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