Itochu follows Microsoft as a global strategic investor in Affle
- Investment strengthens Itochu’s strategic focus in the media and telecom businesses in Asia and beyond
- Second such investment in Affle after Microsoft’s investment in 2009
- Affle also announces that its revenues grew by over 200% in the last 4 quarters
- Affle plans to scale its business globally
New Delhi (India), February 28, 2010: Affle, a leading mobile media company today announced a strategic investment and partnership with Itochu Corporation, one of the world’s leading diversified and comprehensive trading companies with approximately $130 billion of annual total trading transactions and approximately $12 billion of total market value. This investment strengthens Itochu’s strategic focus in the media and telecom businesses in Asia and beyond. With Itochu’s investment (in 2010) and Microsoft’s investment (in 2009), Affle has strengthened its position to expand its mobile media business globally. Affle has made significant progress on product development, customer acquisition and revenue growth post the last round of investment from Microsoft in 2009 and as a clear validation of that, this investment from Itochu has come at a significant premium to the last round.
Affle’s primary business involves creating significant mobile advertising opportunities through the development, deployment and commercialization of innovative mobile technologies. Affle’s largest success has been with it’s SMS2.0 product which through an upgrade of the default SMS application seamlessly embeds a rich media experience on the SMS. This technology has already been successfully launched by over 10 Mobile Network Operators across Asian markets and has already become the largest mobile media for a lot of them. Affle’s flagship business market continues to be India where it has significantly grown its business to include delivering & selling relevant mobile advertising for top Mobile Network Operators and Media Companies to over 100 of its advertiser & agency customers.
Commenting on this association Mr. Anuj Khanna, CEO, Affle, said: “The last year has been excellent for our business. Our revenues grew by over 200% in the last 4 quarters and we made successful forays into newer businesses & markets. In this year our existing markets have already started turning cash flow positive and thus a lot of this newer investment would thus be utilized for enhancing current & building new innovative mobile technologies, while focusing on creating larger business successes in some key markets. We are confident that Affle will continue to derive significant strategic mileage from the relationships with Itochu and Microsoft and continue to add significant value to our shareholders. We believe that the expertise and relationships of our strategic investors in the Mobile media eco-system will help Affle scale this business globally at a very rapid pace.”
Commenting on this association Mr. Kiyoshi Imagawa, General Manager, Media & Internet Business, Itochu, said; “We are glad to participate in this round. Our mission is to make meaningful investments in technology companies with high-growth potential. We are confident the value proposition Affle poses to the global mobile and media markets will drive the necessary revenue to support its expansion to other Asian countries. And furthermore, we are committed to build a strategic alliance with Affle by leveraging highly-advanced Japanese mobile business models and services. ”
Itochu 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 this investment 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 headquartered in Singapore. It 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 rich mobile media in India.
Affle’s SMS2.0 offers users many exciting new personalization and instant messaging type features on SMS. 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
Affle currently operates in five countries including Singapore, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The company is in the process of strategically expanding to other top mobile markets. Affle has already established strong partnerships with leading Mobile Network Operators, Original Equipment Manufacturers, Publishers, Media Agencies, and Advertisers, across various geographies. For more information, visit www.affle.com.
The history of ITOCHU Corporation dates back to 1858 when the Company’s founder Chubei Itoh commenced linen trading operations. Since then, ITOCHU has evolved and grown over 150 years. With 150 overseas bases in 75 countries, ITOCHU, one of the leading sogo shosha, is engaging in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas trading of various products such as textile, machinery, information and communications technology, aerospace, electronics, energy, metals, minerals, chemicals, forest products, general merchandise, food, finance, realty, insurance, and logistics services, as well as business investment in Japan and overseas. more information, visithttp://www.itochu.co.jp/en/