Headland Capital Partners, earlier known as HSBC Private Equity Asia, is investing Rs 70 crore in Gurgaon-based enterprise mobility and communication services company ValueFirst Messaging Pvt. Ltd. The round has also seen participation from existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
ValueFirst has followed an inorganic growth strategy in the last two years, completing four to five acquisitions. The firm has expanded from being a messaging player to segments like digital media, mobile applications and m-commerce.
With this fundraising, ValueFirst will have a Rs 100-crore kitty for its inorganic growth strategy which includes this round of funding and internal accruals. The company is planning an initial public offering in the next 18-24 months.
Sources say that the firm could be eyeing acquisitions especially in areas like enterprise space – both messaging and email services. Another segment on its radar is the mobile media space, where it is looking to scale up through its unit Spot On. ValueFirst is also eyeing overseas expansion through acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region.
ValueFirst provides mobility solutions and communication services to enterprises with over 3,000 customers.The firm provides services like SMS, voice, email, USSD and WAP protocols.
Equirus Capital acted as the exclusive advisor to ValueFirst on the deal.
ValueFirst announced first round of funding of $6 million in early 2009 from NEA. In 2006, the company raised its first round of funding of $250,000 from Emergic Ventures of Rajesh Jain.
ValueFirst acquired mobile value add services (VAS) firm Cellnext Solutions Limited in October 2009 in an all cash deal. It also acquired Noida-based Packet Shaper, a telecom software and product development company. ValueFirst also picked up a majority stake in social media firm Tagg.in for an undisclosed sum in April 2010. It also made a strategic investment in Indyarocks.com, an online and mobile social entertainment platform.
The deal is the second investment by Headland, which is formed after the management buyout of HSBC Private Equity Asia, in the last two months. In December it invested Rs 40 crore in the second round of funding of Microqual Techno Ltd, a telecom infrastructure provider.