Following the deal, Innovese co-founders Dhruv Sogani will head Business Development at Networkplay and Ankit Gupta will join as Head of Technology. Gupta will be responsible for developing and buying new technologies to support tech products that Networkplay will be offering to the marketplace, while Sogani will be responsible for driving new tech-driven business in addition to CAPTCHA.
Launched in 2011 by Innovese, yoCAPTCHA is an advertising platform that transforms difficult to read CAPTCHAs into ad units. The company claims that it has over 100 publishers and has served more than a billion CAPTCHA impressions. yoCAPTCHA offers interactive game/activity based social CAPTCHA from advertisers. Some of its ad clients include P&G, Axis Bank, Volkswagen, BlackBerry, RCOM, Star World, among others.
Networkplay was founded by a team of ex-Yahoo India employees, Rammohan Sundaram, Sunil Punjabi, Ampreet Singh and Viren Anand, and incubated in 2008. Sundaram and Punjabi have quit the business, while Ampreet Singh now heads the company as its CEO. The venture was incubated by WebChutney, and funded by Capital18. The company has around 40 employees in three offices – Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. It was fairly late into the ad network game, after Ozone Media, Komli, and a few others, and among these, the first to be bought. It also published a digital marketing site imediaconnection.in which seems to be ineffective now.
NetworkPlay was acquired by Gruner and Jahr (G+J), a part of the Bertelsmann group. G+J also owns a majority stake in MaXposure Media Group, which it acquired in July 2011.
yoCAPTCHA competes with NLP Captcha by Simpli5d Technologies, involving brand placements with Captcha inputs. Interestingly, ex-Networkplay co-founder Rammohan Sundaram’s newly formed company Platformplay has agreed a deal to monetize the entire sales inventory of NLPCaptcha.
(Updates: an earlier version of this report mentioned that NetworkPlay has 30 employees. A company representative informs us that it has 40 employees)