The apparent upswing in online advertising in India over the past few months has provided some much needed relief to Rediff.com: the company reported a year on year increase of 34.74% in India online revenues at $4.15 million, helped by a 46% increase in its online advertising revenues in India. The change in fee based revenues (also a component of its India Online revenues, has not been disclosed).

In a statement, Rediff.com Chairman and CEO Ajit Balakrishnan said that the “the worst is behind us”, and the company continues to “see positive signs that the market has stabilized”. With this, the company’s loss net has reduced by 39% to $1.59 million, from the $2.61 million reported for the corresponding quarter last fiscal.



Rediff says that as of September 30, 2010, its total registered users grew to 95 million, an increase of 15% compared to the comparable period in 2009. The company warns that it will continue to invest $1.0 – $1.5 million per quarter throughout the fiscal year and into early fiscal 2011 in its technology platform and service offering. Also worth noting is that its cash balance is now $42.8 million, inclusive of interest, compared with $41 million the previous quarter. We’ve written to Rediff for a clarification on the increase in cash balance.

Key developments:
– Subscription business: in the current quarter (not the one being reported above), Rediff launched subscription services, with email service Rediffmail NG. It targets small businesses push-mail services on the mobile. What is more notable is that it is targeting low end handsets, and partnering with telecom operators to offer the service at Rs. 49 with no data charges, as an alternative to the more expensive blackberry service.

– Inventory utilization: Rediff says that it has implemented a new, integrated CRM system, which allows it to be more responsive to consumer demands, and that the management has been focused on improving its utilization and delivery of inventory by offering various SKUs to its clients.

Our take

Readers will remember that we had previously raised questions about Rediff’s apparently non-revenue focused mobile strategy. We see this launch of the subscription business as a positive sign, particularly since it gives Rediff an opportunity to develop relationships with telecom operators for additional services, leveraging content already at its disposal. We also think Rediff should look at launching its online content search on mobile, and partnerships with telecom operators there will help do direct billing. Rediff also needs to drive mobile usage of its website, and look at integrating LocalAds for monetization.

Related:
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