One97, SAIF Partners To Invest In Indian Mobile VAS Firms

Noida-based One97 Communications has partnered with a private equity firm SAIF Partners to invest in the mobile value added services space in India. With a flexible investment range of $500K to 5 million from a total planned allocation of $100 million, both One97 and SAIF will invest in companies that leverage mobile as a key service and content delivery medium for mobile consumers and enterprises. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, managing director of One97, said, “India’s telecom market is witnessing an influx of growth in mobile value added services. 3G, BWA and large subscriber base of mobile consumers provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to create new, innovative high growth mobile VAS companies that can serve such large mobile subscriber base. Through our joint initiative, we will not only be able to provide necessary capital but offer our much required support in form of experience, expertise, relationships and resources for these companies.” One97 has already used this model and invested in a mobile advertising and analytics space company (Oorja Mobile Services Private Limited) and a remote device management & security service (WaveSecure developed by TenCube Pte Ltd of Singapore). The opportunities in the sector are bound to grow with trends like fast penetration of smartphones, technologies like 3G and mobile phone becoming the go-to-device for entertainment, information and transaction needs across the board. Creation of services is a huge potential growth area, which One97 and SAIF wish to support and grow, concluded the companies.

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