ValueFirst Messaging, a Gurgaon-based enterprise mobility and communication services company, has acquired Packet Shaper Technologies Private Limited for an undisclosed sum. Packet Shaper is a telecom software and product development company in Noida.

ValueFirst plans to acquire at least two more companies in its ecosystem, and also plans to raise about $12-15 million in venture funding in its next round. The company is actively working on fund raising plan and targets to complete the same in the next five months. 

It has acquired Packet Shaper in an all cash transaction, through internal accruals and the funds raised earlier. ValueFirst has  raised funding from venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in 2008. This deal comes six months after it acquired  mobile value add services (VAS) firm Cellnext Solutions Limited.

ValueFirst currently has operations across India and other overseas geographies, including Middle East, and some emerging markets like Nigeria and Kenya. The company is targeting a revenue of Rs 100 crore in the current fiscal, with 25-30% EBIDTA growth. 

ValueFirst, which is largely in the enterprise massaging space for the last seven years, plans to leverage the product portfolio and knowledge base of Packet Shaper to further strengthen its offerings. “Packet Shaper has developed lot of intellectual property and products around the voice space and is mainly focused around solutions for operators, call centers and mobile VAS space. We believe this is a good proposition to create and develop a multi-product portfolio which are network agnostic, and help us reach to our customers with richer content in cost effective way,” Vishwadeep Bajaj (in pic), CEO, ValueFirst, told VCCircle.

Post this acquisition, the company plans to integrate its existing product portfolio with that of Packet Shaper and create newer offerings for the customer. It further says that Pocket Shaper has recently created a product called Pocket Mail, which allows availability of mail in mobile handsets using SMS as a bearer. The service is currently in use with BSNL across all its circles. ValueFirst plans to push the service actively and try to install in other operators’ network as well. “The product is handset agnostic and you may call it ‘poor men’s blackberry’” said Bajaj.

Apart from Pocket mail, Packet Shaper also has some others products like Dialer, which are now being largely used in call centers and corporates. It has operations in Singapore and the US through marketing alliances, apart from Indian market. 

Elaborating on future acquisitions, Bajaj said that they are targeting Indian companies especially in messaging space, with good technology. ValueFirst is also looking for social media companies to target consumers directly. “We are looking for technologies which makes sense for other developing territories as well, for example, Africa is one of our focus areas,” hinted Bajaj.

ValueFirst has over 3,000 customers including telecom operators, banks and enterprises. It plans to hit the capital market in December 2011. “We will be ready for the IPO in 2011, while actual move will depend on the market condition at that stage,” Bajaj informed. 

Speaking about the consolidation in VAS space, he said the sector is now getting highly competitive with lot of new players entering the space. “I think large companies will find it difficult to maintain healthy Ebidta, because of intense competition. In 2010-11, there would be more consolidation happening in this space, and 1 or 2 such players will emerge as real leaders,” concludes Bajaj. 

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