UK-based Internet service provider, New Call Telecom, has acquired a 70% stake in Gurgaon headquartered Nimbuzz for about $175 Mn, the deal is said to be more than eight times its expected revenue for this fiscal year, according to ET.
However, both the companies declined sharing the deal size but as per reports, Nimbuzz was valued at as much as $250 Mn.
Nimbuzz, an instant messaging platform was founded in 2006 in the Netherlands, it had relocated its global headquarters to India in 2012 with restructuring its top deck including making Vikas Saxena, a former top executive at Aircel, as the CEO of its India operations who was replaced by co-founder Evert Jaap Lugt after he was named as the chairman of the company.
Nimbuzz is a cross-platform mobile messaging and entertainment app, which allows users to exchange messages, videos, conduct free and cheap calls, meet, share and connect with family and friends on any mobile device.
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Nimbuzz currently has a revenue projection of around $15 Mn annually and has over 200 Mn registered users and claims to have a fast-growing user base with subscribers in over 200 countries with 20% coming from India.
Vikas will continue to hold some of his equity in Nimbuzz post the deal.
“We see huge potential in India’s nascent internet, broadband, instant messaging and data sharing markets. We hope to generate and expand a number of new and traditional revenue streams as e-commerce picks pace and broadband expands,” New Call chairman Jerome Booth said.
Over-the-top (OTT) services, which include messaging and calling apps is a huge market and this year we have already seen two big acquisitions in this segment including WhatsApp acquired by Facebook and Rakuten acquiring Viber.
In India, Nimbuzz has around 30 Mn users whereas other instant messaging apps like WhatsApp has 60 Mn users, Viber has 25 Mn whereas Line has 30 Mn.
Nimbuzz will become an incubator for apps for New Call and New Call is also looking to integrate the capabilities of Nimbuzz with its international call business to further lower charges for customers.
New Call Telecom CEO Nigel Eastwood also said that will be closing another acquisition in the Wi-Fi segment in the country and which is currently in the final stages of approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).