SVG Media looking to fund, acquire ad-tech startups, says CEO Vij
SVG Media Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between Manish Vij's Vun Network and Harish Bahl's Smile Group, started operations in 2006 and is now one of the largest digital media companies in the country. In fact, it says it is set to become the first digital media company in India—after Google and Facebook—to clock $100 million annual revenue. The Gurgaon-based company operates several businesses including mobile and digital advertising, in-app video platform and data targeting through units Tyroo, DGM, Seventynine and Komli. SVG Media claims it represents about 70% of India's Internet base through these four entities. The company counts US-based VC fund Xplorer Capital and TPG Growth as investors. In an interview with Techcircle, founder and CEO Manish Vij talks about competition and the company's plans to invest in ad-tech startups. Excerpts:
What are SVG Media's plans for this year?
We are looking to cross the $100 million revenue mark by the end of this year. We are going to be the first Indian digital media company to cross that mark. At $100 million, our revenue will grow 60-70% from last year. That's the excitement this year.
How are your businessesâ€“Komli, DGM, Seventynine and Tyrooâ€“performing?
SVG works with half the top 100 Android apps in India, whether it's through Twitter representation by Komli, whether it's every Chinese app working with Tyroo or whether it's every news app working with Seventynine. All our businesses are doing great, and are equally contributing to the group's revenue.
Each business unit takes care of a particular sector. For example, Komli is a specialised vertical that takes care of social channels (Twitter and Facebook) and premium digital advertising. We have an exclusive partnership with Twitter. We will soon announce an exclusive relationship with another global digital media company. (SVG Media acquired the India business of media technology company Komli Media India Pvt Ltd in August last year.)
DGM is one of the largest performance partners for banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) companies and e-commerce firms, driving their affiliate platform business. It works on a proprietary technology platform that combines the latest ad serving technologies with advanced web analytics to maximise your advertising revenueâ€¦ DGM is a leader in the BFSI sector and is experiencing around 50% growth from this sector year-on-year. Under DGM, we have just launched nNext â€“ which is building a lead generation platform to enable offline businesses acquire more customers.
Sevetynine is a mobile advertising company. It reaches almost 50% of the total Internet-enabled smartphones in India. Seventynine â€“ an in-app ad-serving platform focusing on video â€“ enables businesses with advertising solutions with innovative ad formats, placements, targeting and tracking mechanisms and analytics. YouTube takes the majority of the share but we witness about 15-20% of the total video views in the country. (SVG acquired Seventynine in 2014.)
Tyroo is our technology business that is building technology to drive transactions for e-commerce advertisers. Nnext and mobile video advertising under Seventynine are going to be high-growth vehicles for SVG media. Our product listing ads is yet to deliver results but we see it also as a high-growth engine.
Who are your customers?
We are working with more than 1,000 unique advertisers every month. From an annualised standpoint, we have about 2,000 customers. All e-commerce companies in India are our customers. Some of these are Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Shopclues, Uber, Ola and Saavn.
Of late, we have seen several ad-tech startups coming up and gaining investors' attention. How do you see this trend?
We continue to look to invest in early-stage startups. SVG Media has carved out a separate budget of about $3-4 million to invest in early-stage ad-tech startups. Our first investment was in social commerce app Mishtag. We are very close to investing in another Delhi-based ad-tech startup.
We would love to consolidate this space, and continue to build our leadership in this business. We are also looking for acquisitions in digital ad-tech space.
Click here to read about SVG Media's expansion and IPO plans, and competition from InMobi.
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