MobME Wireless Solutions Pvt Ltd, a Kerala-based mobile VAS provider, has announced its plans to go for an initial public offering (IPO). The firm is skipping the conventional funding cycle of a tech startup of first bringing on board a venture capital investor. The company will become the first student-incubated company from the state to go public, according to its founder and CEO Sanjay Vijayakumar. It has appointed IDBI Capital Market Services Ltd as the merchant banker for the planned IPO on the NSE SME Exchange.
“This moment screams out loud as a new breed of entrepreneurs is setting sail from the shores of Kerala,” said Vijayakumar. He did not immediately share the quantum of funds that the firm is looking to raise in the public issue.
Talking about why the startup chose to go for an IPO instead of looking at private investors he said, MobMe, a completely bootstrapped company wanted to take a different route to raise money for its growth. “We are building a platform for the next thirty years and want to share our story with everybody. In the good old days, entrepreneurs built a company and went public directly without taking VC money and we want to follow that path. An IPO today is an exit for a VC, wherein for us IPO is an entry. We believe that lots of entrepreneurs will follow our steps.”
Founded 2006 in Trivandrum Technopark by Sanjay Vijayakumar (CEO), Sony Joy and Vivek Steve Francis (COO), MobMe is a mobile, media and entertainment company that is focusing on VAS for mobile phone users and carrier grade solutions for network operators. MobMe’s partners and clientele include Vodafone, Airtel, Aircel, Idea, Tata Indicom, BSNL, MTNL, NDTV, Network 18 and Café Coffee Day.
The company also works with the state governments of Kerala, Goa, Nagaland and Central government departments like the Department of Science and Technology.
MobMe recently announced a partnership with a commercial lender in India to deploy its digital signature technology Mobile Express, which will enable people to log into their online banking portal, social media account, mailbox and e-commerce websites with just mobile number, avoiding the risk of the passwords and usernames being hacked and misused.
It has appointed Desai & Diwanji as lawyers for the issue. Gyan Magnus Associates are the advisors of the IPO.
It would not be the first VAS firm to go public. At least two such firms that are large in comparison are already listed including OnMobile Global and BK Modi-controlled Spice Group’s S Mobility.
NSE’s SME Exchange christened NSE EMERGE platform, which went live three months ago, saw its debut listing when Thejo Engineering raised Rs 21 crore.
Thejo ,which had fixed an IPO price of Rs 402 a share, is currently trading at 5 per cent discount and closed at Rs 382 a share on NSE EMERGE.
The second firm, Vito Switch Gears & Cables Ltd, is expected to be listed on NSE’s SME Exchange on December 13.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)