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Exclusive: SVG Media buys Komli Media’s India business

smile-vun-groupYou’re reading it here first: SVG Media (Smile Vun Group) has bought the India business of Komli Media, SVG Media founder Manish Vij and Komli co-founder Amar Goel have confirmed to MediaNama. MediaNama sources had indicated last week that Komli Media was looking to sell its India business, following the sale of its Asia Pacific business to Axiata, and the hiving off of RevX earlier this week.

Komli Media has around 100 people in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai, and around 400-500 clients, and the acquisition will give SVG Media a reach of over 150 million Indian Internet users across screens, the company claimed, including a combined share of 60% of the digital marketing-network spends in India. Total digital marketing spends are likely to be much higher, with Google and Facebook being the largest.

Consolidated revenues for SVG Media with Komli integrated will be more than $50 million, according to the company. Note that, in December 2014, SVG had claimed revenues of over $40 million

Speaking with MediaNama, Goel said that he will be involved with the transition as an advisor. On the way Komli’s business has been split, Goel rationalized that RevX is the ad-tech business that they were looking to take global, and the ad network business is different from the ad-tech business, and South East Asia businesses is a market that differs from India, so they decided to do different things. “Manish (Vij) has built SVG, they’re larger than us, and we thought it might be great to team up, and have a dominant marketshare.”

Vij clarified that “None of the shareholders are becoming a part of SVG media, but Komli is merging with SVG Media, and it will continue to operate as a business unit.”

SVG’s Acquisitions

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It’s almost as if SVG Media has been waiting for bubbles to burst, valuations to become reasonable and investors to tire, before sweeping in and buying well funded competitors, or competitors with big businesses backing them.

Komli’s India business is probably SVG’s biggest acquisition yet, and something’s got to be said for quietly building a business in a market that is particularly tough for an advertising or ad-supported businesses: with ridiculously long payment cycles and unreliable payments. Scale helps address some of these issues, which is likely to be the case with SVG Media and its portfolio of advertising businesses. Its acquisitions, over the years:

– Komli Media, which had raised around $97 million in funding over the years, and sold its Asia Pacific business (believed to be its main-stay, with businesses in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia) to Axiata for just $11.25 million. SVG group has bought its India business, for an undisclosed amount.
– Seventy Nine: In December last year, Bertelsmann group company Gruner+Jahr sold back SeventyNine to SVG Media, a company which it had bought from SVG Media in November 2012.
– NetworkPlay: G+J had also sold the digital agency NetworkPlay to SVG Media at the same time, November 2012. NetworkPlay was an ad network and events business, and has been integrated into SVG, no longer operating as an independent entity.
– DGM India: SVG and DGM India MD had bought the affilate ad network company for Rs 3.35 crore from Asia Digital Holdings, in April 2012. Till the year ended 31 December 2011, DGM India had reported a turnover of around Rs 15.99 crore, a gross profit of Rs 5.33 crore, an EBITDA of Rs 1.78 crore, with a Net Asset value of Rs 1.8 crore.

According to its website, SVG Media includes DGM, Tyroo, NNext and SeventyNine. Precision Match, a data business the company had launched in 2012 now redirects to Tyroo, so it’s possible that the company has been integrated into Tyroo. The site doesn’t list Velocity, a data backed display ad network, which it had launched in India and the Asia Pacific region in 2013.

SVG Media is backed by Keith Nilsson’s Xplorer Capital and TPG Growth. Xplorer Capital had bought the 35% stake held in Tyroo from Yahoo in November 2011. Note that TPG Growth also has a joint venture with the Smile Group, one of the two joint venture partners in SVG Media, the other being Manish Vij’s Vun Network.

SVG’s online pest control venture

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Earlier this week, SVG Media started a new business unit called GoVentures.in and launched an online pest control services portal called PestControlGo.com. The website began its services in 28 cities across India and partnered with Hicare, a HACCP certified pest control service provider in India.

Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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

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