Online ad network and audience measurement provider Komli Media has raised $15 million in a funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners. Two existing investors Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners participated in the round, the third - Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) - has not.
This is the company's third round of financing - the first was in January 2008, when it raised $7 million, and the second in July 2010, when it raised $6 million.
Niren Shah, MD, Norwest Venture Partners, will join the company's board. Komli offers an ad network platform and an audience measurement platform Vizisense, which competes with the likes of AC Nielson. The company is headquartered in Mumbai, and has offices in New York, Toronto, Palo Alto, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, London and New Delhi. "They have a pedigree management team that has run big teams before. Komli has been able to demonstrate two products and have been able to scale up in different countries. The ability to scale up and build a good company is what we like. This round will help them meet growth expectations," said Shah.
Speaking to VCCircle, Prashant Mehta, chief operating officer (COO), Komli Media, said, "We will use the funds to significantly invest in both the platforms. We are seeing great adoption of our current technology and with India, Australia and other markets across APAC growing, we see a huge opportunity going forth."
Komli has grown from 50 employees in January 2010 to 115 today and is pumping investments into all its teams. It plans to double its operations in Australia, where it recently launched Vizisense. It currently employs 14-15 people and will add to its sales and marketing, analytics and product development teams. "We have just launched Vizisense in Australia and now need to build a strong team around it. We feel that technology is not enough and are investing in all our teams - engineering to product to sales and marketing - in all centres," said Mehta.
The funds will also be used to expand further into S.E.Asia and Middle East markets. It has already partnered with a small digital agency in the Middle East and is looking to partner with more local companies.
No acquisitions are on the table but Mehta says the company will "not shy away from" one. Shah confirms, "Komli will continue to be opportunistic but this round is only for investing in people, product and platform and there is no specific acqusition activity to harvest now."
Komli claims its revenues have grown 600% over the past year. Mehta explains, "Our investments in 2008 and 2009 when companies were retracting, are now paying off." The majority of its revenues are from the ad network.
In June 2010, the company forayed into the Australian market by acquiring site representation firm PostClick for an undisclosed sum. PostClick offers business solutions to media agencies and advertisers in business, finance, news, lifestyle and multi-cultural internet spaces. Its clients include Hotfrog and Bloomberg. Komli followed it up with the acquisition of Indoor Media, an online marketing company in the UK for its ad network AdMasala. Indoor's clients included the UK government, Mercedes, O2 and Vodafone.
Komli has 2000 clients for its ad network including Facebook, Expedia, SanjeevKapoor, Babycenter, Saavn, Miniclip, P&G, Unilever, Amex and Marico. It is also working with emerging brands like Snapdeal.com and Fashionandyou.com, said Mehta. The network reaches 45 million unique users.
"The online advertising market is Rs 10,00 crore which is 3-4% of the overall ad market. Advertisers in FMCG and automotive industry are looking to increase their investments so we will see more dollars going there. Komli is well positioned to grow. Their differentiator is a service-oriented culture, deep technology and ability to grow," said Shah. Norwest Venture Partners has 5-6 investments in the ad space globally.
"We were drawn to NVP because it is a global, top tier investment firm with deep domain knowledge in the online advertising sector. NVP’s powerful network of relationships in India and abroad will be of great value to Komli Media as we expand our offerings and services to other markets," said Amar Goel, Founder and CEO, Komli Media.
The company plans to launch an updated version of Vizisense in India in April-May-June quarter.