ValueFirst Messaging, a Gurgaon-based enterprise mobility and communication services company, has made a strategic investment in Indyarocks.com, an online and mobile social entertainment platform. The move is part of company’s plan to build and enhance its presence in media properties in India.
The deal follows ValuFirst’s acquisition of social media firm Tagg.in in April this year. The financial details of the latest transaction were not disclosed. The investment will be made through a mix of internal accruals, and the funding raised earlier.
Indyarocks is a social, entertainment and gaming site which allows its users to share games, Bollywood content, music, photos, videos and blogs. It currently has around 8 million subscribers, and is a profitable company. With this deal, Indyarocks users will get mobile experience, which ValueFirst believes, will eventually increase its user base and create a new revenue stream through mobile marketing.
The site is currently generating revenue from online advertising only. Post this investment, ValueFirst will start monetizing on the mobile part using its mobile ad network SpotOn, Vishwadeep Bajaj, CEO, ValueFirst, told VCCircle.
“The reason behind this strategic investment is that ValueFirst is now building its media portfolio, starting its first move with Tagg. The deal also gives us an additional revenue stream, as it helps us monetise on Indyarocks’ inventory through SpotOn, which is our mobile marketing subsidiary,” Bajaj reasoned.
Elaborating on the company’s digital media foray, Bajaj said, mobile spend in the Indian context will continue to increase, and so digital media would become a rich target for advertisers and brands. “In India, within the digital space, mobile spend will surpass internet spend. We are enhancing our media reach so that we can build a platform, integrating our mobile marketing domain, to address this increasing demand and make money out of that.”
ValueFirst has over 3,000 customers including telecom operators, banks and enterprises. The firm, which has earlier raised two rounds of funding, is currently in talks with investors for the third round, and is expecting to close the round in the next two months.
In February 2009, ValueFirst has raised $60 million (about Rs 30 crore) in series B from US-based venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Earlier in 2006, it raised $250,000 from Emergic Ventures in the first round of funding.
It has acquired three companies so far, and plans to make some big acquisitions in the mobile messaging space, once the next round of fund raising is over. Besides India, ValueFirst has operations in overseas geographies as well including Middle East, and some emerging markets like Nigeria and Kenya.