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VC-backed ValueFirst settles disputed Way2SMS deal out of court; deal scrapped

18 January, 2013

ValueFirst Digital Media has reached an out-of-court settlement over its disputed acquisition of Hyderabad-based consumer internet firm Way2online, which owns and operates Way2SMS.com and 160by2.com. The settlement was reached last month and the promoter of Way2online, Venkam Raju Vanapala, had withdrawn the petition filed earlier in the Delhi High Court, as per a judgement dated January 11, 2013.

Medianama, in a separate report, quoted the CEO of ValueFirst as saying that as part of the agreement, promoters of Way2SMS have got possession of the business and the acquisition stands scrapped.

The two firms had reached an agreement for the transaction for an all-cash deal in last May, reported to be worth around Rs 200 crore.

The transaction would have made ValueFirst one of the top digital media companies in the country in terms of revenues, as well as number of users. The acquisition was being funded through internal accruals and by ValueFirst’s investors – New Enterprise Associates and Headland Capital.

The deal would have given ValueFirst access to multiple platforms like the internet, voice, SMS and e-mail.

ValueFirst has been following an aggressive inorganic strategy over the past three years. It acquired mobile VAS firm Cellnext Solutions Ltd in October 2009, again in an all-cash deal. The company also acquired Noida-based Packet Shaper, a telecom software and product development firm, and picked up a majority stake in the social media firm Tagg.in for an undisclosed sum in April 2010. It also made a strategic investment in Indyarocks.com, an online and mobile social entertainment platform.

Earlier, ValueFirst CEO told us that the firm was looking at a couple of other acquisitions in the internet space besides a few in the mobile internet area.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)


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VC-backed ValueFirst settles disputed Way2SMS deal out of court; deal scrapped

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