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Oorja Splits From One97 Communications

Oorja, the mobile marketing venture incubated by One97 Communications* has split from the parent company. In an internal mail sent out earlier this week, One97 founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma informed employees that Oorja is no longer an investment and subsidiary of the company, and as per the terms of the agreement:

– One97 no longer holds any more shares in Oorja
– Oorja cannot pursue any of One97’s lines of business (content, prepaid, pre-call, analytics etc), and that the precall business of Oorja has moved to One97.
– Oorja will focus on the post-call notification and mobile advertising business

Speaking with MediaNama, Sharma said that as per the terms of the deal, some shares of One97 Communications have been given back to the company, and they are also free to do mobile advertising and post-call notifications, i.e., pursue Oorja’s line of business. He declined to comment further on the terms of the deal, including the timeframe for the non compete.

Oorja, which operates out of a single location in Noida, is led by Rajiv Madhok (CEO and MD), Deepak Mittal (CTO) and Shakti Saravanan (CMO). Madhok told MediaNama that he continues to hold some shares in One97 Communications (which we had noticed from One97’s IPO filing). The company is independent, but not funded. “We have a couple of paying customers – Tata Docomo and Airtel – and we’re in a positive cashflow situation,” he said. Oorja, which has around 30 employees, wants to be a specialist in prepaid analytics, and a spinoff of that will be mobile advertising. “There would be certain apps which are relevant to the prepaid base, which we will launch,” he added.

Oorja is doing post-call notifications to begin with, wherein, certain text with promotional text is added on the basis of the customers analytics. On the question of adding promotional text to what appear to be transactional messages, hence not in line with TRAI regulations, Madhok said that they do DND filteration, and it is the telecom operators that are sending the messages.

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