Gruner + Jahr's Indian arm NetworkPlay buys Smile Vun Group's mobile ad network Seventynine

2 Nov, 2012

Smile Vun Group (SVG), a joint venture between Manish Vij's Vun Network and Harish Bahl's Smile Group, has announced the buyout of its mobile ad network Seventynine by Gruner + Jahr's (the publishing division of European media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG) Indian entity, Networkplay.  The deal value was not disclosed.

Seventynine is G+J's second digital acquisition in India after Networkplay, which was acquired by G+J earlier this year in March.

Founded by Deven Dharamdasani and Chirag Shah, Seventynine, a mobile media distribution and analytics platform, began operations earlier this year in April. Dharamdasani is also the co-founder of Quasar, another SVG company. Post this deal, the founders will continue to lead the business. Seventynine will be an independent business unit under the Networkplay umbrella, with its management reporting directly into the board. In the G+J group, Seventynine's immediate focus would be technology,  product and expansion in South East Asia and Middle East.

"We are certain that association with Networkplay would be an impetus for our business and aid our objective of becoming the leading player in the mobile advertising space in India and beyond,"  Seventynine founders said on the development.

Seventynine is currently serving 1.8 billion ad requests and is focused on building inventories across mobile applications and mobile web, according to a press release.

Manish Vij, founder, Smile Vun Group, commented on the buyout, "Our seven months association with Seventynine has been extremely successful leading it to be the fastest growing mobile ad-network in India. Seventynine has great potential as a business and we are certain that its association with Gruner+Jahr will provide a global platform for the business to grow further. This alliance is the beginning of our relationship with Gruner+Jahr."

Speaking on the acquisition, Dr. Torsten-Jörn Klein, president, Gruner+Jahr International said, "The expansion of Networkplay in the mobile space through the acquisition of Seventynine is clearly following our strategic commitment to grow our mobile business in the Indian market. G+J is looking forward to further expand in that area together with Networkplay and the Seventynine team."

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)