Eros International acquiring controlling stake in mobile VAS firm Techzone

Mumbai-based film studio Eros International Media Pvt Ltd is picking a controlling stake in Chennai-based mobile value added services (VAS) provider Universal Power Systems Pvt Ltd which operates under the banner of Techzone for an undisclosed amount.

Established in 1991 by Naveen Bhandari, Techzone is an aggregator, developer and distributer of entertainment content via mobile platforms in India. The company is focused on Bollywood films and music markets, and also has region-specific content in Tamil and Telugu.

It has partnered with leading mobile operators in the country and has its own mobile short code - 560560. Techzone makes its content available to end-to-end users via caller ring back tones (RTBs), mobile radio, SMS, WAP and IVR. Techzone claims to have done an average of 25 million SMS, WAP or IVR transactions per month.

It has offices in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai, besides Chennai. It is operational in 14 countries and has over 225 employees.

“Techzone will be a strong addition to our ErosNow strategy where content meets technology and distribution,” said Jyoti Deshpande, CEO of Eros.

“With Techzone’s billing integration and distribution in place across major telecom operators and average transaction traffic of over 25 million monthly over the past three years, we expect this deal to complement our existing ErosNow service,” she added.

Founded by in 1973, Eros is a movie production and distribution company which co-produces, acquires and distributes Indian language films in multiple formats worldwide. The firm has aggregated rights to over 2,000 films in its library, plus approximately 700 additional films for which it holds digital rights only. Eros distributed a portfolio of over 230 new films over the last three fiscal years, and 26 in the six months ended September 30, 2013. It also runs a movie streaming venture under ErosNow.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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