Microsoft has acquired a minority stake in the Singapore based mobile media company, Affle Holdings, which operates in India through its fully owned subsidiary, Affle India Pvt. Ltd, for an undisclosed amount.
The deal will enable Affle to leverage Microsoft's expertise and relationships in the mobile media space to scale its business globally. Affle's SMS 2.0 service will also be able to help boost the usage of many of the Windows Live services and MSN content on mobile. "The investment is going to fuel the growth plans of Affle," Anuj Khanna, CEO, Affle, told VCCircle. A report in ET mentions that Microsoft has acquired a 20% stake in Affle. Khanna, however declined to comment on the same.
Affle, set up in India in 2006, is looking at consolidating its position in the VAS space via acquisitions. "We are looking at acquiring some good assets and have received close to five proposals," said Khanna, adding that a lot more consolidation was expected in the VAS space in near future. The firm sees no signs of the trends slowing down.
Anuj Khanna said, "I am expecting Affle to grow by 10 times in terms of revenues and gross profits this year as compared to March, 2008."
Currently, Affle provides SMS 2.0 services through the Bharti Airtel Network. Last month, Affle had announced a partnership with NDTV Convergence, the online arm of NDTV, for powering advertisements on NDTV's mobile portal – NDTV Active.
This partnership with Microsoft is also expected to help Affle growing in other markets like those of China. "Microsoft will put in its resources to help Affle in growing to other markets such as China where Microsoft has a significant presence" said Khanna.
Affle has raised the fund as a part of its series B funding. Affle had raised its Series- A funding from a few high net worth individulas and private equity firms based out of Singapore and India.
The existing share holders who had invested in the previous round, have also contributed towards the Series- B funding along with Microsoft.