Mumbai-based Ideacts Innovations, a cyber cafe based advertising platform has recieved $5 million funding from Sequoia Capital India. R. Ramaraj, Senior Advisor, Sequoia Capital India, and Mohit Bhatnagar, Operating Partner, Sequoia Capital India, have joined the board of the company.
Ideacts has developed a desktop application called CLINCK which is targeted at cybercafe users. The application offers a desktop interface for the cybercafe user – which provides shortcuts to internet browsers, messengers, system shortcuts, search, news, entertainment and online storage – while they will also be enticed by advertisements from various companies.
Ideacts has tied up with cyber cafes (especially white labeled ones, and not the Sifys or Reliance WebWorlds) and the latter will be paid for installing the CLINK application on the desktops. It’s an offline way to reach out to the cyber cafe users. Ideacts will make money from advertisements.
Some of the companies advertising with Ideacts are ICICI Bank, Yahoo, Naukri, Radio Mirchi, Dell, MSN, White Mischief, Makemytrip, among others.
The company was formed in March 2007 by Rudrajeet Desai (CEO), Maninder Gill and Saurabh Khullar. Desai has previously worked with BPL Mobile and Cadbury (I) Ltd before moving to brand integration on the mobile platform with Mobile2win and Group M.
The company is hoping to ride on the growth of Cyber Café market (at 8 per cent annually). The firm is currently operational in 8 cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Chandigarh, Pune and Bangalore, and it plans to go to B and C tier cities as well in 2009.
Targeting Unorganised Cafes
In an interview to VC Circle, Rudrajeet Desai said that the company’s focus is white labeled cyber cafes, which are essentially unorganised standalone cyber cafes and not the branded cyber cafes. “We pay these cyber cafes on a monthly basis, which vary according to their size. At present we have this arrangement with 625 cyber cafes, which come to more than 5,000 computers.” Desai further said that they plan expand to around 3,000-3,500 cyber cafes.
The company currently has 32 people in 8 cities. “This year we plan to expand our operations in cities where we have already established a presence. In 2009 we plan to expand to tier-II and tier-III cities.”
On why the market is large for the company, he said: “India has a 120 crore plus population and cyber cafes are the fastest, easiest and cheapest way of internet access. So I dont consider increasing PC penetration as a threat to us.”