VAS TOP10: #9 Altruist Technologies―Altruism at its Best

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Altruist Technologies provides voice and web based value added services, business process outsourcing, information technology, and interactive communication solutions to carrier, WASP, ISP, CSP, and corporate clients. It offers voice and SMS based, jukebox, horoscope, job portal, downloads, matrimonial, social networking, call center and financial outsourcing, data and voice management services, etc. The company also offers voice and data transmission technologies for telecom operators and service providers. In addition, it helps in the facilitation of third party VAS application development, as well as offers system integration, product engineering, and application hosting services for telecom service providers, broadcasters, media companies and publishing houses, application developers, product companies, and content owners. The company was founded in 2005 and is based in Chandigarh with additional offices in India.

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Altruist Technologies has emerged as a front runner in the mobile social networking space in India, Indonesia, and Nigeria and is fast spreading to other similar geographies. Besides its flagship voice based mobile social network, it also runs jobsonphone, manages end-to-end the mobile/digital strategy for multiple media clients and brands, and hosts and manages voice infrastructure for leading content owners and distributors. It has made successful forays into m-governance, handset based applications, and video sharing platform.

Recently, the Altruist group picked up 20% stake in Vegam Solutions, a mobile VAS retail and voice gaming company founded by Ingersol Jayakumar, previously the national business head, VAS, Tata Teleservices. The company will provide Vegam Solutions with platform support.

The Chandigarh based VAS company is at present in acquisition talks with a US based company, which would see adequate expansion in the overall business space. The company’s founder Anuj Aggarwal said at the sidelines of e-revolution 2011 event that the company has earmarked $25 mn for this acquisition. In the last one year, the company made 2 acquisitions-Mumbai based Mobile2Win was acquired on a share swap basis and US based RelayStrategy through an all-cash deal.

With the acquisition, Altruist has acquired competence in voice, SMS, WAP, and applications; it was primarily a voice based services company before the acquisition of Mobile2Win in 2009 (for SMS competency), and with RelayStrategy the company has acquired WAP and mobile app development competency. Aggarwal said that since the last 2 quarters they had been working with RelayStrategy on mobile app development. The company develops apps on the Netbiscuits platform, as well as Android, BlackBerry, and iOS. There is also a fit, according to Aggarwal, with Altruist’s m-governance system integrator business. RelayStrategy was founded by Navneet Gosal, a serial entrepreneur, for whom this is a fourth venture. Aggarwal believes that the acquisition will allow Altruist, in particular, to strengthen its brands’ business. The company works with brands like Thums Up, Pepsi, Kingfisher, Bajaj, etc, who might want a WAP or presence of an application.

The company is also planning to increase its headcount from 200 to 300. In FY11 the company registered a revenue of `77 crore and is planning to touch `120 crore by FY12. The firm is also contemplating an IPO the end of 2013, precisely when the company achieves a turnover of `200 crore.

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The company works closely with most of the Indian operators as well as few telcos in Afghanistan, Malaysia, Thailand, the US, and Oman. The company is also planning to expand in Indonesia, the Middle East, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Philippines. The company has tie-ups with handset makers like Lemon, Micromax, Lava, and Max Mobiles.

The company’s product line includes Mobile Voice chat allowing subscribers to create there own profiles, specify a partner profile, surf through profiles and talk to desired profile one to one anonymously; Mobile Navigator which is a voice based navigation platform and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime and anybody; Mobile Social Networking; Career Catalyst; and Jobs on Phone.

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