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Komli deal spurs investment hopes in ad networks

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Komli deal spurs investment hopes in ad networks

Industry experts are amazed by the amount of investment Komli Media has attracted from the Venture Capitalists’ community. Yesterday, Komli Media, a leading media technology platform for advertising, announced that it has raised US $39 million. Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) led the financing with participation from Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Western Technology Investment.

Experts believe that it is the biggest round of fund raising by an online company in recent times in India. The funds will be used to invest in the company’s core media technology platforms and to expand its presence across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

Dippak Khurana, CEO, said, “It is a positive sign for the digital and mobile industry. Fundamentally, online companies have their own business models which are different from each other. However, looking at the overall growth of the digital industry, we have seen many venture capitalists investing in Indian portals, especially in the last 12 to18 months.”

In another important development in February this year, Komli Media had acquired Admax Network, South East Asia’s largest digital media network with a monthly reach of over 90 million unique users that covered six of the world’s fastest growing markets: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Commenting on the recent investment, Prashant Mehta, CEO, Komli Media said, "We see significant long-term opportunity in bringing an integrated platform solution to the market. This financing will allow us to scale our platform and operations by investing in our Real-Time Bidding (RTB), data analytics, and retargeting solutions to improve RoI for advertisers and yield for publishers.” He added, “Our solutions will allow us to deepen our presence and engagement with customers and publisher partners across APAC.”

The graphical (display, mobile, video, and social) digital market continues to grow very fast in a very fragmented manner across the APAC region. Komli Media’s offering in these key areas include time display advertising (ATOM), video (Komli Play), mobile (Komli Mobile) and social (Komli Engage) solutions.

“The digital economy in India all set to grow. Until recently, ad-related businesses were not in the path of value creation. They were not attracting significantly high investments, but now ad networks are able to find value,” explained Rohit Sharma, Founder and CEO, Wopshop.

Komli Media has registered growth at a rate of 150 per cent annually since 2009. Today, it has over 5,000 leading publishers including exclusive relationships with Facebook and MSN in key markets. Experts also believe that the focus of venture capitalists, who were largely investing only in the $6 billion e-commerce space in India, are now slowly shifting towards advertising-driven online platforms too.

“Venture capitalists have invested a lot in the e-commerce space and some have burned their fingers. However, they are also now attracted to advertising networks. Until recently, it was a wait and watch situations for them. However, in next three to five years, the Venture Capitalists’ community will invest in the online medium. They are convinced about the growth of digital advertising business,” asserts Sharma.

For the record, as per estimates from Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the Indian online advertising market is expected to grow at a rate of 54 per cent in the next 12 months. The size of the industry is expected to be close to Rs 4,391 crore by March 2013 as against Rs 2,851 crore in March 2012. South-East Asia is one of the largest growing markets of online and mobile advertising in India. It is estimated to be worth approximately US $250 million – $300 million, growing at 30-40 per cent per year.

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