Rammohan Sundaram’s piling on the deals, all right. His newly formed company has now agreed a deal to monetize the entire sales inventory of NLPCaptcha, which is claimed to be India’s largest Captcha advertising platform, albeit in a phased manner. NLPCaptcha monetizes captcha codes using advertising, replacing the usual blurry (or mathematical) codes that one has to enter while signing in or signing up for services.
NLPCaptcha was launched in December 2011, and their publisher network includes premium websites across genres like News, Jobs, Entertainment, E-Commerce, Classifieds etc. It claims that its advertising lineup includes names like Google (surprisingly), Visa, Volkwagen, Toyota, Maruti, Axis Bank, ICICI, SOTC, Lufthansa, Blackberry, HUL, P&G etc.
PlatformPlay has recently tied up with AOL to bring TechCrunch events to India; Sundaram had previously founded NetworkPlay (backed by Capital18, sold to Bertelsmann group’s media company Gruner + Jahr in March 2012), which had brought Ad:Tech to India. It has also struck a deal with Vuukle Inc, a comment management firm that monetizes through advertising, to set up its India business in a build operate and transfer model.
Perhaps there are other deals in the pipeline, because that is PlatformPlay’s approach. The thing you hear about Sundaram most is that he can sell (is incorrigible), and has a large network in the Indian digital and marketing space. This allows a business like NLPCaptcha to outsource sales. As NLPCaptcha’s co-founder Amit Mittal said in the press release – “I think that our own sales team has done a fantastic job on the field but still we do realize that we are an ad-tech company and in order to achieve the exponential growth, we should focus on our core business and handover the monetization part in the hands of the right partner.”
Not sure if this is a long terms solution, but PlatformPlay is taking a can-sell-will-sell approach; the representation business is one that Sundaram has tried before – NetworkPlay represented LinkedIn India in sales before it took over. I wonder if Komli Media, which represents Facebook for sales in India (among other agencies; it’s a relationship both Facebook and Komli shy away from explaining the details of), should watch its back.