Delhi-based mobile internet services firm One97 Communications has raised its third round of funding of $10 million from the lone investor SAP Ventures, the investment arm of the world's largest maker of business management software SAP AG.
With this investment, One97 plans to expand its reach in emerging markets such as Asia, Africa, hire talent and do research and development.
One97 was founded in 2000 by engineer-turned-entrepreneur Vijay Shekhar Sharma. It delivers mobile content, advertising and commerce services to customers such as Airtel, Vodafone, Afghan Wireless, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Samsung and General Motors.
"This investment by SAP Ventures is a great reinforcement of One97’s team and growth trajectory,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director, One97. “India offers huge potential for services leveraging mobile Internet technologies, and this capital investment will help take us to the influx point of growth.”
"Mobility and emerging markets are both key focus areas for SAP, and One97 is right in the middle of exploding mobile usage among consumers in developing countries who are using their mobile phones to access the Internet, play games, buy content and shop online,” said Jai Das, Managing Director, SAP Ventures. “In India, one97 has one of the largest user bases and is also one of the largest consumer Internet companies by revenue. It is rapidly expanding its services to other developing countries in South Asia and Africa. SAP Ventures will leverage SAP and its extensive ecosystem to help One97 expand its global reach.”
It had earlier raised funds from investors like SAIF Partners, Intel Capital and Silicon Valley Bank.
For SAP Ventures, this is the second investment in India this year. The company had earlier invested $10 million in local search engine Just Dial along with Sequoia Capital Global Equities in June this year.
Mobile is one medium that has tremendous growth potential and foreign companies are looking forward to explore these prospects in emerging markets like India.
Last month, in one of the largest global deals in the mobile internet space, Japanese internet major Softbank Corp invested $200 million in Bangalore based mobile advertising company InMobi, which was followed by the $40 million raised by online group buying service Snapdeal.com from Bessemer Ventures with participation from existing investors IndoUS Ventures and Nexus Ventures. Blackstone invested about $33 million in financial inclusion-focused tech firm FINO.cv.
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