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December 04, 2007

DFJ's Sateesh Andra on mGinger investment

ContentSutra has an interview with DFJ's Sateesh Andra on the firm's investment in mobile advertising services firm mGinger.
How much have you invested in mGinger?
We’ve invested $1.5 million, while NEA-IndoUS has invested $500,000.

Why mGinger, what was the company’s valuation, and how did you value the company?
There are three things - first is a good marketing opportunity. Mobile is a great medium, as is opt-in permission based advertising in that segment. The second factor is that the mGinger team is a great team. The third factor is the traction - there are close to 1 million subscribers. Also, the change in market dynamics: when I turn on a spam filter, I don’t receive advertsing. That’s what the Do Not Call registry is doing. As a marketer, I can sign up with a network like mGinger, and I get advertisements that interest me. mGinger is building a directory of consumers. I can’t comment on the valuation.

There other advertising models like 160by2 for free messaging and even (Rajesh Jain’s) MyToday that is a publishing based model...Why the push advertising model like mGinger’s?
All of these things can be done. mGinger is not a one product company. When advertisers look for a platform, they consider: (a) Content Compositition, (b) Cost of Campaign and (c) Measurability. We think mGinger provides this value, and importantly, it has traction.

...Which other sectors interest you?
We’re interested in essentially consumer services - nano technology, clean tech, IT enabled retail entertainment. Reva, Komli, MChek (mobile payments) and Live Media are among our investments. Also SeventyMM, which a combination of NetFlix and FedEx. The entry of Reliance in the online home video segment validates the opportunity.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.