one97 communications / payments bank / paytm / alibaba

With cash reserve enough to last the next five years, One97 Communications — the digital goods and value-added services arm of Paytm — is planning for a global expansion. The company is looking forward to introduce its digital business in Western Europe and U.S markets via a series of strategic acquisitions.

One97, a mobile Internet company that operates a digital goods marketplace and mobile marketing platform has a coveted standing in the Indian market. The company has already expanded to Africa and is scheduled to debut in Indonesia, Malaysia and Middle East markets through partnerships with telecom companies. In the meantime, it is also scouting for marketing analytics platforms to fuel inorganic growth in these markets.

The marketing, advertising and related analytics services for telecom partners make up for about 70 per cent of the company’s revenues. Amit Sinha, Senior VP of One97 said that(via ET),

The international business makes up 20% of One97’s annual revenue and will be a focus area going ahead. We are targeting 100% growth this year, riding on growth of content for 3G network, video consumption and network cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

This year, we see growth coming from our 3G-based content services, video, and a majority from data analytics.

Sinha claims that the company is currently getting over 360 million visitors per month and is completing 100 million transaction in the same time frame. He further added that he expects the business to grow 100 per cent in the current fiscal year, as compared to the measly 30 per cent growth in previous years. He kept mum on the revenue figures of the company.

But to fuel their growth, One97 is now also thinking about selling content on Paytm’s marketplace, with payments driven via their digital wallet.

While other companies are after generating content in bulk, One97 sets itself apart by not only providing content but also laying added focus on providing back-end services like marketing, billing and a platform for consumption to its merchants, says Sinha.

One97 Communication has the backing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, who has picked up a 25 per cent stake in the company via its financial arm Ant Financial. The company is also looking forward to enter the Indian market with the help of Paytm and spinning off its marketplace into a separate entity. Valued at over $4 billion, Paytm(owned by One97) has raised about $600 million in 4 rounds, led by marquee investors SAIF Partners, Intel Capital, SAP Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.

Its been three years since One97’s previous acquisition, but now it seems that the Internet giant is ready and confident to acquire more businesses to expand to unknown geographies. It had previously acquired Plustxt India, a text messaging app optimized for Indian languages in 2013 for $2 million.

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