smile-vun-groupA few months after Chirag Shah and Deven Dharamdasani, the co-founders of mobile ad network Seventynine, had left the firm , apparently after their earn-out, Gruner+Jahr (G+J) has sold that business back to SVG Media (Smile Vun Group), reports the Times of India. Along with this, G+J which is Bertelsmann group company, has also sold the digital agency NetworkPlay to SVG Media. The terms and amount of the deal are undisclosed, but ToI it at around $15 million.

With this deal, G+J effectively exits the digital advertising platform in India, and it will perhaps rue 2012 as a year of ill-fated decisions: it had acquired Seventynine from SVG Media in November 2012, a few months after it had bought NetworkPlay from Capital18 and WebChutney.

SVG’s big advertising technology play

SVG Media founder & CEO Manish Vij claimed that this acquisition will make them the largest ad-tech company in the country with over $40 million revenue and 8% market share of digital ad spends. Its businesses:

– Performance network Tyroo Media.
– Digital marketing data provider PrecisionMatch.
– DGM India, an affiliate marketing network, which it acquired for a total consideration of Rs 3.35 crore from Asia Digital Holdings in April 2012.

Vij told TOI that they bought back Seventynine due to the company’s app jacket solution that apparently enables developers to insert video ads and other ad formats like header & footer banners and Interstitial banners to their mobile apps. NetworkPlay also has a license to provide Tradedoubler’s performance marketing & targeting solutions for India, SEA, Middle East regions.

Networkplay also acquired captcha-based ad platform yoCAPTCHA for an undisclosed amount.

The Smile Vun Group also includes Quasar, a digital advertising agency in which the WPP Group owns 75%.

Recent Departures at NetworkPlay and SeventyNine

In July this year, NetworkPlay had mentioned that Gruner+Jahr was planning to restructure the business, after Ampreet Singh, who had taken over from Sundaram, had left the company. NetworkPlay co-founder Viren Anand had then told MediaNama that “the Board and Management is currently deliberating upon the scope of re-structuring that will be proposed shortly.” Apart from this, the Seventy Nine founders had also quit recently.

Update: SVG Media has informed that its data backed display ad network Velocity doesn’t exist anymore. The article has been updated accordingly.

(with inputs from Nikhil Pahwa)