Affle establishes strategic relationship with Microsoft to strengthen its mobile media business
Singapore, 10 feb 2009: Affle, a leading mobile media company today announced a global strategic relationship with Microsoft. This relationship is expected to add significant value to both companies. Affle will be able to leverage Microsoft’s expertise and relationships in the mobile media eco-system to quickly scale its business globally. Affle’s SMS2.0 service will also be able to help boost the usage of many of the Windows Live services and MSN content on mobile, and also create a large volume of new mobile advertising inventory. As part of this working relationship, Microsoft has also become a minority shareholder in Affle.
Affle’s primary business has been related to creating significant mobile advertising opportunities through the development, deployment and commercialization of the SMS2.0 service across various Asian markets. In markets like India SMS2.0 has had unprecedented success and has already become the largest mobile media in India delivering over 120Mn monthly targeted impressions. SMS2.0 is an upgrade to the SMS/Text Messaging application on the mobile phone and resides as the default messaging application on the handset. It offers users many exciting new personalization and instant messaging type features on SMS. This includes personalization features like colours, emoticons and signature as part of the messaging experience. However, the most unique aspect of this upgrade is that it unifies messaging, content browsing and a search experience on the default text messaging screen itself. Users thus have access to the best of rich content services on the default messaging screen, thereby significantly boosting consumption of mobile media. It should be noted that Affle’s SMS2.0 is not a SMS protocol standard, but rather it is leveraging the existing standard in a unique way.
This service is deployed in partnership with Mobile Network Operators (MNO) and Affle has already deployed it successfully with many top tier MNOs across four Asian geographies – the largest customer being Bharti Airtel in India. Windows Live Search and MSN content services have already been integrated and deployed on SMS2.0 in India and have witnessed unprecedented results. In just a couple of months, these services on SMS2.0 are receiving over 30 million impressions per month and growing rapidly with the increasing popularity and consumption of the SMS2.0 media. The primary revenue model for this service is mobile advertising, and Affle has had continued and widespread success in closing partnerships with the some of the largest brand advertisers in the world. As part of this strategic relationship, Affle now intends to work closely with Microsoft to expand its mobile media and advertising business worldwide.
Mr. Anuj Khanna, CEO, Affle, said about the association: “We are confident that both Affle and Microsoft will derive significant strategic mileage from this strategic relationship. This will translate into a richer consumer experience, wider distribution as well as significant revenues for both companies. We are confident that Microsoft’s expertise and relationships in the Mobile media eco-system, will help Affle scale this business globally at a very rapid pace.”
Sanjay Chheda, Regional Vice President of Microsoft’s Consumer & Online business for the Greater Asia Pacific Region, said: “Microsoft is delighted to be working with Affle on this innovative and unique offering, especially with the immense growth potential for mobile advertising. SMS2.0 is a great channel for us to help further spur the adoption of Windows Live and MSN services amongst consumers in Asia.”
Microsoft is now a minority shareholder in Affle Holdings, a Singapore based company which is the holding company for all of Affle’s local companies and has been made as part of the Series B investment round at Affle. Affle has its R&D and Product Development centre based out of Singapore, which is creating innovative technologies enabling media consumption on mobile, and has business teams across various geographies.
Affle is a leading mobile media company. They offer cutting edge technologies with a value proposition for consumers and business partners. The solutions and products from Affle have been specially designed to enhance user experience and make mobile media a reality. Affle’s SMS2.0 service has been deployed across Asian markets with multiple mobile network operators and has already become one of the largest mobile media in India.
Affle currently operates in five countries including Singapore, India Thailand, Malaysia and UK. The company is in the process of strategically expanding to other top mobile markets soon.
Affle has already established strong partnerships with leading Mobile Network Operators, Original Equipment Manufacturers, Content Providers, Media Agencies, and Advertisers, across various geographies. For more information, visit www.affle.co.uk.
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Singapore Online Links:
India Online links
- http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Infotech/Software/Microsoft_India_picks_up_20_stake_in_Affle/ articleshow/4107719.cms
- http://www.alacrastore.com/storecontent/Thomson_M&A/ Microsoft_Corp_I_Pvt_Ltd_acquires_a_minority_stake_in_Affle_Pte_Ltd_from_Affle_Ltd-2049740040