ValueFirst Messaging, a Delhi-based mobile messaging services provider, has raised series B funding of $6 million from venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA). In 2006, the company raised its first round of funding of $250,000 from Emergic Ventures of Rajesh Jain.
ValueFirst plans to increase its workforce by double from the current 200, and enhance its presence in 35 cities in India. ValueFirst also has plans for international expansion, especially in East Africa and Middle East.
Ben Mathias, Executive Director of NEA India Pvt Ltd, will join the company’s board.
The company claims to have more than 1,300 corporate clients such as ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered, Bajaj Allianz, HCL, Nicholas Piramal, Nortel, Proctor & Gamble, among others. The company also has two subsidiaries, SpotOn (media mobile ad network) and ValueFirst Connect (mobility solutions provider). Part of the funding will also go into these subsidiaries.
ValueFirst plans to expand its client base to more than 10,000 customers, and reach revenues of Rs 100 crore in the coming fiscal year, a company spokesperson said.
“NEA’s direct investments in India are primarily in mid-to-late-stage projects,” said Ben Mathias, Executive Director of NEA India Pvt Ltd, said in a release. NEA also runs an affiliate fund in India, Vindo Dham promoted NEA IndoUS Ventures, which invests in early to mid-stage companies.
The mobile value added services (VAS) space is still active in the deal space. Chandigarh-based Altruist Group recently acquired venture capital backed VAS player Mobile2Win. Two other VAS companies, mCarbon and One97 Communications, also recently raised funding from Canaan Partners and Intel Capital, respectively. Mobile media company Affle recently sold a 20% stake to Microsoft.
NEA has also backed another company – low cost computing startup Novatium – where Rajesh Jain has made the first investment.