Financial Chronicle – Hyderabad, July 13, 2009 – Hyderabad-based Ybrant Digital is scouting for acquisition opportunities in the mobile marketing space, with an eye on expanding its offerings in emerging markets such as India and China. The company, which provides digital marketing solutions, is banking on the growing mobile base in the two countries to boost its market share in the region.

“India and China are two countries where mobile advertising is catching on much faster than online advertising due to the spurt in mobile sales on one hand and slow growth of internet on the other,” chairman and chief executive officer Suresh Reddy told Finan-cial Chronicle. “Hence, this segment offers huge oppor-tunities in these econo-mies.”

The company is exploring various options and looking for the right match before going ahead. Given the attractive valuations of companies in Europe and North America, Ybrant may make a formal announcement this quarter, Reddy said. Though he did not disclose the size of the deal, he described it as ‘substantially large’.
Last month, the company had acquired Argentina-based firm, dream ad, in a bid to expand its presence in the South American region. It was the company’s fifth acquisition in the last three years.
Since 2006, Ybrant has acquired Oridian for $13.5 million, AdDynamix for $10 million, Medios One for $4 million and VoloMP for $2.2 million.

The company is also mulling launching an initial public offering (IPO) of equity shares this financial year, though no final decision has been made in this regard, Reddy says. “Both organic and inorganic growth needs funding. We are looking at different avenues for that, including an IPO if the market sentiment is favourable,” Reddy adds.
Initially, Ybrant had planned to go public in February 2008 to raise about Rs.120 crore, but had to back off as the stock markets took a nosedive following the global economic meltdown.

The company, which had posted revenues of $55 million for FY08, had raised $25 million last October from private equity players, which was partly used in funding the dream ad acquisition.

Reddy says the company was not as badly affected by the global economic crisis as some of the other businesses. “We have seen advertisers increasingly shifting to online marke-ting, as a means to cut costs, because the response on the medium is easier to measure. Hence, we have not suffered that badly,” he claims.

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