VAS TOP 10: #6 One97: Shifitng Gears



One97 communications, a company started 11 years back by a young entrepreneur during his ‘studying’ period, has come a long way since then. Regarded as one of the most valuable organizations in the telecom space in India, the company has shifted its focus to become a ‘mobile internet media’ company, as its founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma puts it, from a traditional value added services player.

The firm has now 1,100+ strong worforce with offices in Mumbai, Chennai, Dhaka, Lagos, and Dubai and is funded by marquee investors like Intel Capital, SAIF Partners, and Silicon Valley Bank. Posting a growth of 25%, the company posted a revenue of `225 crore in FY12 compared to `180 crore in FY11.

The company has got its name from the number ‘197’ that was being used by telephone users in India during the fixedline era to register complaints. The company has made tremendous progress in offering value added solutions for consumers, operators, and enterprises for their marketing

purposes.

Its mobile payment platform has been a rage in the industry since its launch. Called Paytm, the platform enables consumers to conduct commercial transactions through their mobile phones. Users can make payments for mobile prepaid recharge, mobile postpaid bills, content downloads as well as other transactions from their mobile phones.

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It also brings access to transact other services provided by enterprises like movie ticketing, travel booking, flower delivery, toll plaza card recharge, and payment of insurance premia. Paytm.com has launched recharges on internet and mobile for all major direct-to-home television subscribers without any extra charges. The company is doing more than 2 mn orders directly from consumer every month.

Moving forward, the company is planning to come up with a new solution where users can use Paytm to compare between various deals offered by service providers like insurance companies, automotive firms, and banks. The solution would act as a deal aggregator and consumers can buy the deals of their choice through Paytm.

In the video segment, the company has launched an application called VideoPind for iOS and android devices. The VideoPind app lets users browse through a set of curated videos through what it claims to be an ‘innovative touch gesture’, across various categories, in addition to offering the ability to search for and create new categories on the basis of a users search keywords.

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It also allows users to save videos as favorites for later viewing, add their YouTube subscriptions, and followings as a channel and share content via Facebook, Twitter, email, and mobile SMS. The company claims that within a short span of 2 months the application saw 200,000 downloads and it’s growing day by day. The company is also planning to bring out a similar application in the gaming segment as well, calling it GamesPind.

The firm created One97 Mobility Fund (OMF) with $100 mn which it aims to invest in early stage mobile companies. The OMF has already made investments in 2 firms-Dexetra and Appshopper-in the recent past. Dexetra is working on a Siri-like application, a highly personalized and intelligent answering engine for Android phones.

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