wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

A brief history of the SVG, Gruner+Jahr, Seventy Nine, Networkplay relationship

Earlier today, Bertelsmann group company Gruner+Jahr sold back SeventyNine to SVG Media (Smile Vun Group), along with the digital agency NetworkPlay. The companies involved in the transaction, and indeed, those involved with the companies, have had a few transactions over the past few years, ever since G+J bought Networkplay. In a way, this is also the story of G+J’s entry into, and exit from the ad-tech business in India:

2008: WebChutney and Capital18 incubate Networkplay:
NetworkPlay was founded by a team of ex-Yahoo India employees, Rammohan Sundaram, Sunil Punjabi, Ampreet Singh and Viren Anand. It was incubated by WebChutney and funded by Network18’s venture capital arm Capital18.

Manish Vij

July 2011: SVG incubates SeventyNine
SeventyNine was incubated by Smile Vun Group (a JV between Manish Vij’s Vun and Harish Bahl’s Smile Group) in July 2011. It started commercial operations in April 2012 with a focus on rich media inventory especially videos. It also launched a mobile app analytics service in July 2012.

March 2012: Gruner+Jahr acquires Networkplay
It was a 100% buyout, and the company, we were told, was valued at around $8-10 million. NetworkPlay had reported revenues of Rs 19.84 crore, and net loss of Rs 2.88 crore for the year ended March 31, 2012.

November 2nd, 2012: NetworkPlay acquires SeventyNine from SVG
for an undisclosed amount. Post acquisition, SeventyNine worked as an independent business unit under the Networkplay umbrella, with its management reporting directly into the board. SeventyNine co-founders Chirag Shah and Deven Dharamdasani continued to lead the business post the buy-out.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

November 5th, 2012: NetworkPlay co-Founder & CEO Rammohan Sundaram quits
Ampreet Singh is made NetworkPlay CEO. Another co-founder, Sunil Punjabi, quits soon after, saying that they had options for part exits in December 2012 and December 2013, and “Ram and I exercised the option for exiting in December 2012. We have received fair value for the exit.”

March 2013: Smile Vun Group launches PlatformPlay with Rammohan Sundaram
Smile-Vun Group had a majority stake in PlatformPlay, with Smile-Vun co-founder Manish Vij on its board. The idea was to help launch international businesses in India. It tied up with AOL to bring TechCrunch events to India (which apparently didn’t go well), with NLPCaptcha and BrizzTV for selling ads.

September 2013: NetworkPlay buys yoCAPTCHA
yoCAPTCHA is a captcha-based ad platform, bought for an undisclosed amount. its co-founders Dhruv Sogani and Ankit Gupta join NetworkPlay.

May 2014: PlatformPlay merged with SVG Media, Sundaram moves on
PlatformPlay is “merged” with SVG Media’s digital marketing data provider PrecisionMatch. While PlatformPlay employees were transferred to companies under SVG Media, Sundaram became the CEO of Ibibo Group’s advertising business ibiboAds.

July 2014: NetworkPlay CEO Ampreet Singh exits the venture in strange circumstances
We got an oddly worded note, and Networkplay said it cannot confirm any of the reasons or future announcements mentioned in a note about Singh’s departure. Viren Anand become the only remaining co-founder at NetworkPlay. Anand had then told MediaNama that “the Board and Management is currently deliberating upon the scope of re-structuring that will be proposed shortly.” Read the note and NetworkPlay’s statement here.

August 2014: SeventyNine founders quit NetworkPlay
Co-founders Chirag Shah and Deven Dharamdasani also left SeventyNine, apparently after their earn-out. Following this, Siddharth Kelkar was appointed as the new lead for the business.

December 2014: SVG Media buys SeventyNine and Networkplay from Gruner+Jahr
For a reported $15 million.

(with inputs from Nikhil Pahwa)

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.


In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...


By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...


By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...


By Rahul Rai and Shruti Aji Murali A little less than a year since their release, the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 is being amended....

You May Also Like


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ