Silicon Valley SEM Co Position2 acquires Webshastra, to invest $5 mn in next 3 years in India

Silicon Valley SEM Co Position2 acquires Webshastra, to invest $5 mn in next 3 years in India

Author | Asit Ranjan Mishra | Friday, Jul 14,2006 7:25 AM

Silicon Valley SEM Co Position2 acquires Webshastra, to invest $5 mn in next 3 years in India

Position2, a US based VC funded search engine marketing agency, founded by two Silicon Valley Indian entrepreneurs, has acquired Webshastra, an online marketing solutions provider in India, to make its foray into India.

Established in 2005 by Rajiv Parikh, founder of Altavista Business Solutions Group, and Soumya Ravi, a qualified Google Adwords professional, Position2 is funded by Erasmic Venture Fund, an US/India VC fund.

The SEM company improves lead generation, customer acquisition, and brand visibility through pay per click advertising management (PPC), search engine optimisation (SEO), and web analytics. With offices in San Jose, Bangalore and Mumbai, Position2 offers a full service, performance-driven approach to agencies and a diverse array of growing companies.

Expanding through select acquisitions, Position2 has since its inception acquired CCG, a US based search engine marketing company. Webshastra, a six-year old online marketing firm, grew its business primarily through online advertising work for large multinational firms. Webshastra’s proprietary real-time tracking tool and ad-serving capability is used by a number of ad agencies and clients to consolidate reporting and enable actionable analytics.

When asked why the agency decided on Webshastra, Parikh, CEO of Position2, said, “I visited India in 2005. I looked at all possibilities, including opening up an agency ourselves. What I liked most about Webshastra is that they were pioneers in Internet advertising and technology. They were the first online ad network in India and had already worked with buyers and clients around the world.”

Asked about who would be heading the Indian venture, Parikh said, “We have not created any Country Manager kind of post. Vinod Nambiar will be responsible for Global Delivery as Director. Rakesh Varma is Director, IT Development, and Rajesh Sule, has been appointed as Director of Worldwide Business Development. In the US also we have a group of directors who manage our business worldwide.”

“At present, after the acquisition, Position2 has 35 professionals in India and aims to increase the head count to 50 in three years. “We also aim to invest $5 million in India in the next three years,” informed Parikh.

When asked which segment of their business would receive maximum attention, Parikh said, “There are two key components in the search engine marketing area, one is pay-per-click management or paid keyword search and the other is natural search. The paid keyword search is growing very rapidly and that will be our key focus area. What we also find is a lot of our clients want to be on the natural search side. So, that’s also a growing area.”

About the key focus market for the company, Parikh said, “Obviously, when you look at revenues, the primary market will be the US, but we are rapidly expanding into the UK and now in India.”

On the Indian online ad market scenario, Parikh said, “Though Indian online advertising market has a smaller base, but the nice part about it, which we like most, is that it is growing very fast. In the US, the paid search marketing is growing only at 30-50 per cent a year, whereas here in India it is growing at 100-150 per cent. That’s what excites us about India.”

When asked about the competition and the market share the company was looking at in India, Parikh said, “The market is too significant for the number of players existing at present. We would like to be a leader in this field. We are aiming at acquiring a 20 per cent market share in two to three years’ time.”

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