London-based Globo plc, a provider of enterprise mobility management solutions and software as a service, has acquired Bangalore- and San Francisco-based Sourcebits Inc, a developer of mobile apps and proprietary products for enterprise customers, for an undisclosed sum. The consideration is paid in cash and the transaction is structured on a debt-free and cash-free basis.
As per an official statement, the acquisition is in line with Globo’s strategic objective to build its presence in the enterprise mobility market, and it will accelerate the firm’s progress as a mobile app development platform (MADP) provider.
Post the acquisition, Sourcebits will continue to operate under its own brand under Globo’s mobility business services division. As per the deal, more than 160 employees of Sourcebits will be transferred to Globo, and the key members of the management and development teams will retain their positions within the new integrated structure.
Founded in April 2006 by Rohit Singal, Sourcebits develops apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and Windows 7 mobile platforms. The most popular apps it has developed include games like Robokill and Beast Farmer, Knocking Live, Daily Deeds (organiser for tasks and reminders), Night Stand, Skyfire (mobile browser for Android, iPhone and iPad) and Beast Farmer.
The firm counts among its clients companies such as Intel, SAP, P&G, The Coca-Cola Co., Bank of America, Columbia University and Hershey’s. Sourebits also owns the IPR for Chocolate Chip-UI, an open source mobile framework, which competes with other popular mobile frameworks like jQuery mobile, Sencha touch or Zepto. The services division of Sourcebits is based in San Francisco with a significant development centre in Bangalore.
As of March this 2014, Sourcebits had a turnover of $8.2 million, of which 59 per cent came from the US, followed by APAC (21 per cent) and MENA (10 per cent).
In 2011, Sourcebits had raised $10 million in funding from IDG Ventures India and Sequoia Capital. This deal valued the venture at around $25 million post money.
The deal marks yet another transaction where a strategic acquisition of a VC-backed venture has provided an exit to the venture investors. Lack of such exits has been proving to be a roadblock in flow of risk capital to Indian startups in the past. However, a string of deals over the last year or so have provided multi-baggers to early-stage investors of Indian startups.
These include Naspers’ acquisition of online bus ticketing starup redBus.in; Facebook’s acquisition of Little Eye Labs, an app performance tools startup; Hitachi’s buying of payment solutions firm Prizm Payment; GSN’s acquisition of bingo game creator Bash Gaming, and ibiboGroup’s acquisition of angels-backed bus tracking and analytics platform Yourbus.in.
An enterprise mobility solutions company, Globo’s GO!Enterprise (EMM) and GO!AppZone (MADP) offerings help businesses expand their engagement with employees and customers through the mobile channel via a secure and extensible environment that runs on all smart devices. The group operates internationally through subsidiaries and offices in the US, the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
“The acquisition of Sourcebits is another significant step for Globo as we address the massive opportunity of the MADP market for enterprise customers. The quality of skills, clients and strong branding that Sourcebits adds to Globo will allow us to compete for more and larger MADP projects and take advantage of our GO!Enterprise/GO!AppZone MADP offering,” said Barry Ariko, chairman of Globo.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)