In an all cash deal, ValueFirst, a New Era Associates funded Mobile VAS company, has acquired a majority stake in Noida based PacketShaper Technologies. Founded by Saumendra Mohanty eight years ago, PacketShaper has customer installations in over 20 countries. Mohanty, who retains some stock in the company, will continue as the CEO of PacketShaper, and ValueFirst retains the option of completely acquiring the company. Earlier last year, ValueFirst had acquired CellNext in an all cash deal.
PacketShaper appears to be a rather unusual company, given the spread of its products that range from mobile applications to CRM, covering several niche products around Switching, Dialers, IVR, Calling Cards and IP-PBX etc. It employes 33 people, a majority of them in product development. The company is expected to close this fiscal at Rs. 2.5-3 crores.
Rationalizing A Large Portfolio, Adding Sales
Speaking with MediaNama, ValueFirst COO Kumar Apoorva said that the acquisition is primarily around acquiring a rather large portfolio of around 27 products, and a significant competency around voice – routing, switching boxes, dialer – which can be used by the BPO industry. ValueFirst sees this as an opportunity to get into the hosted dialer and voice minutes business for mid-tier call centers.
We asked Apoorva about whether they intend to retain all the 27 products: two products are obviously not core for ValueFirst – the bandwidth manager, which is sold to ISPs, and the switches. Apoorva agrees that the company will rationalize the product portfolio to a great extent – to 3 or 4 – and focus on a few competencies, where ValueFirst can grow either by operator or enterprise deployment. Switches, he says, allow the company an entry into international operators. PacketShaper has 30-35 international customers, in the US, Romania, Ghana, Canada, South Africa,Afghanistan, Somalia. Through them, ValueFirst’s international SMS sourcing and delivery agreements can change significantly because of the operator contacts that PacketShaper has. In India, PacketShaper has Aircel and BSNL as clients.
A two segments which the company will immediately focus on are PacketShaper’s Email-to-SMS product, which the company has deployed for BSNL with a few thousand subscribers. The other is the hosted dialer business, which Apoorva believes could amount to several crores of business; they’ve already done two sales. They’re also going to explore PacketShaper’ VoIP platform, an IPBX, but not in the first 5-6 months.
Apoorva says that PacketShaper could do around Rs. 6.5-8 crores of business in the coming fiscal, with an expanded sales structure, and if it shapes up well, this could be a property that does Rs. 40-50 crores in the coming three years.