Mobile2win merges with Altruist

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 12, 2009
Post-merger, Mobile2win will launch its mobile voice based services and voice advertising, which will target telecom, consumer durable, real-estate and financial companies

Mobile marketing company Mobile2win has announced a merger with Altruist Technologies, a Chandigarh based mobile value added services (VAS) provider which offers voice based services.

Speaking to afaqs!, Rajat Jain, managing director and chief executive officer, Mobile2win, says, "It is basically a share swap deal under which the owners of Mobile2win have acquired a stake in Altruist and in return, Dheeraj and Anuj Aggarwal, owners of Altruist, have got a stake in Mobile2win."

As & #BANNER1 & # part of this deal, the existing investors of Mobile2win such as Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), Nexus India, Softbank China and Silicon Valley Bank will get shares in the Altruist Group. The company is not ready to disclose the valuation of the deal and the percentage of shares acquired by all the parties involved in the deal.

Post-merger, both companies will keep on operating independently, although they will have a combined board. Jain will keep on working as managing director and chief executive officer at Mobile2win and also join the Altruist board.

Both companies have agreed to share their mobile capabilities with each other. This implies that Altruist will offer Mobile2win's SMS and mobile Internet capability to it clients.

Jain says that Altruist will help Mobile2win to launch its voice advertising services and roll-out voice based mobile services. For instance, it will start offering voice-enabled solutions such as voting, contests and subscription requests for jokes, news and cricket scores to advertisers and media companies.

The company plans to target real estate, credit card, insurance and consumer durables firms for voice advertising. Mobile2win currently offers only mobile marketing, SMS and mobile Internet based solutions.

Apart from diversifying its services, Mobile2win will also leverage the merger to expand its reach in terms of locations and languages. Altruist Technologies operates in 13 locations and offers its solution in 13 languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Mobile2win will use Altruist's multi-language platform to introduce its mobile marketing services in various languages soon.

"We are expecting that our combined revenue in 2008-09 will stand at Rs 200 crore and it will reach to Rs 350 crore in 2009-10. According to our estimates, we will have 20 per cent market share in the mobile VAS market in the next 12-18 months," says Jain.

Currently, the size of the mobile VAS market is Rs 1,500 crore, excluding the VAS share of mobile operators. According to industry experts, 60 per cent of the mobile VAS market is dominated by entertainment based content such as ringtones, caller-back tunes and music downloads.

About 20 per cent is contributed by infotainment oriented content such as news and cricket scores, while mobile commerce comprises the remaining share. The size of the mobile advertising industry is estimated at Rs 55 crore, which is miniscule compared to the VAS market.

Recently, Microsoft has also invested in the mobile marketing space by acquiring a non-controlling stake in Affle, an SMS marketing firm which has a significant presence in the mobile marketing domain in India.