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OnMobile Global writes down Rs 68 crore from Telisma acquisition

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OnMobile Global has written down a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of Rs 68 crore related to the Telisma acquisition, the company has disclosed in its earnings results for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

OnMobile had acquired the French speech recognition company Telisma S.A for Rs 84.4 crore, way back in 2008. The company says that this acquisition helped OnMobile win new customers in emerging markets, however recently “the market outlook for the core products in its target markets has deteriorated”, thereby resulting in this impairment.

Telisma had a speech recognition technology available in 10 Indian languages – Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, and English and through this acquisition, OnMobile was looking to develop new language capabilities, which will help them to gain market entry and acquire new clients. The company had then stated plans to deploy it with operator clients over the next 2-3 years.

While OnMobile already had a tie-up with with Nasdaq listed Nuance for voice-based search in 15 different languages at the time, the company had mentioned that this acquisition will allow them to reduce time to market for other languages. “What we could do with Nuance in 8-10 months, we can do with Telisma in 3-4 months, and at a fraction of the cost, and we own the IP”.

In November 2009, OnMobile had mentioned that it had developed Malay and Thai language models for Telisma, and were developing four African language capabilities. It had also started replacing Nuance in few of its Indian businesses. From June 2011, Telisma S.A started operating under the name of OnMobile S.A.

VoxMobili offloading: Earlier this month, OnMobile had also offloaded its French arm VoxMobili SA, to Synchronoss Technologies Inc for $26 million. It’s worth noting that Synchronoss had earlier filed a lawsuit, alleging that Voxmobili and Onmobile USA LLC had infringed some of its patents and the company received Rs 35.4 crore from OnMobile as part of the IP settlement.

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