Affle to acquire 8% stake in indigenous social keyboard provider Bobble AI – The Economic Times

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NEW DELHI: Mobile advertisement firm Affle on Thursday said it will acquire 8 per cent stake in indigenous social keyboard provider Bobble AI for Rs 19.8 crore.

“…the company has entered into a definitive share subscription agreement and shareholders’ agreement to acquire 8 per cent ownership in Bobble AI… The company has also secured an option(s) to own and acquire incremental ownership on attainment of certain key performance targets within the next three years,” Affle said in a regulatory filing.

Prior to Affle’s investment in Talent Unlimited Online Services (Bobble AI), major investors were Xiaomi and SAIF Partners.

Post Affle’s investment, the shareholding of Xiaomi would be 27.60 per cent and that of SAIF Partners would be 19.42 per cent.

“A total consideration of Rs 198 million for 8 per cent of ownership, to be paid on or before the date of closing of the agreement,” the filing said.

Bobble AI is a strategic investment for Affle as it owns and operates “Bobble Indic Keyboard”, an indigenous social keyboard, it added.

Bobble Indic Keyboard includes speech-to-text capabilities and is accessible in multiple Indian languages. It is also a pre-loaded default keyboard for Xiaomi across multiple devices in India, enhancing Affle’s vernacular strategy and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partnerships.

Bobble AI had clocked an operating revenue of Rs 10.8 million in FY2020.
Affle said it has also secured exclusive global ad monetisation rights of tech assets of Bobble AI for five years.”We believe Bobble AI complements our vernacular strategy and significantly strengthens our partnership with OEMs where this keyboard is a default/pre-installed app.

“We remain committed to Affle2.0 growth strategy leveraging upon strategic consolidation opportunities to augment our market leadership position globally,” Affle Chairman, MD and CEO Anuj Khanna Sohum said.

Ankit Prasad, founder and CEO of Bobble AI, said Affle’s investment reinforces its vision to build world’s largest conversation media platform.

“Affle’s strong market position, differentiated business model and our deep AI-driven tech is setting us together on a long-term growth trajectory,” he added.