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Yahoo! India acquires minority stake in ad network Tyroo

The online publishing giant has acquired a stake of between 35 and 50 per cent in the online ad network owned by Smile Interactive Technologies

Yahoo! India announced on Wednesday that it has acquired a minority stake in Tyroo Media Pvt. Ltd, the online ad network of Smile Interactive Technologies Group (SITG). George Zacharias, managing director at Yahoo India!, said that the stake was “over 35 per cent and less than 50 per cent”.

Tyroo Media was launched in June 2006 and was formed under Studio Smile, an incubation programme of SITG for start-up companies and entrepreneurs. Tyroo Media has an online advertising network which works on a self-serve platform, where advertisers can put up their own online campaigns and have access to advertising space on about 1,200 publishers in India.

Yahoo! India acquires minority stake in ad network Tyroo
The deal has been finalised after three months of discussions, according to a source familiar with the development. The investment (the amount is still under wraps) will obviously give a shot in the arm to Tyroo Media’s “dreams of going international”, in the words of Harish Bahl, founder and CEO, SITG. Leveraging Yahoo’s association with international advertisers, Tyroo Media will offer its services to advertisers interested in targeting Indian audiences. “Raising capital was not the objective here. Yahoo! has strong engineering capabilities and global customers, which create synergies with our business,” Bahl added.
Yahoo! India acquires minority stake in ad network Tyroo
In India, the company is targeting about 40,000 websites and the 500 million impressions that are unsold by publishers every day. Tyroo Media is focusing in particular on the SME (small and medium enterprises) segment. With Yahoo’s cash infusion, the company expects to strengthen its technology and triple its sales team by the end of the year. Though Tyroo has its own research team, Yahoo! India is also expected to provide technological inputs to the company.

As with Yahoo’s acquisition of online ad network Real Media in April 2007, there may be apprehensions among Tyroo Media’s clients about its proximity with Yahoo! India. However, Bahl of SITG was quick to say that the companies would be “at arm’s length”, to which Zacharias added that Tyroo Media was an “independent company”. He also added that Yahoo! India has its own proprietary ad platform, which the company will continue using.