Softbank Corp invests US$60mil in Axiata’s ADA for 23% stake
By Digital News Asia May 11, 2021
- Softbank to hold 23.07% shareholding of ADA; Axiata remains majority shareholder
- ADA to be established as Softbank’s core digital & data marketing partner in Asia
Axiata Group Berhad’s subsidiary ADA (held by Axiata Digital Services) today announced the formation of an alliance with SoftBank Corp.
Under the agreement, SoftBank will invest US$60 million (RM250 million) in ADA with the ambition to expand and accelerate the group’s analytics, data and AI digital marketing business in the region.
Following the investment, SoftBank will hold 23.07% shareholding of ADA, establishing ADA’s valuation at US$260 million (RM1.07 billion). Axiata Digital Services remains the majority shareholder of ADA at 63.47%.
In a statement, Axiata said that ADA – an independent digital, analytics and marketing company operating in nine countries across South and Southeast Asia – expects to benefit from the” unlocking of significant global synergistic opportunities”.
Japan-headquartered telecommunications company SoftBank will establish ADA as its core digital and data marketing partner in Asia. According to Axiata, Softbank aims to leverage its network of portfolio companies in proposing and providing digital marketing solutions that incorporate ADA’s proprietary technologies and consumer AI models.
This alliance also allows SoftBank to expand their footprint in the region by bringing its customer data platform (CDP), ‘Treasure Data’; and the consumer base of its communication app, ‘LINE’ for the benefit of brands and marketers.
“We are delighted to welcome SoftBank as a business partner and coshareholder to ADA. Now serving over 1300 clients in the region, ADA’s revenue tripled since its launch three years ago, recording positive EBITDA in the last two years,” said Izzaddin Idris, president and group chief executive officer (CEO) of Axiata.
“Together with our existing Sumitomo partnership, we can expect this strategic alliance to further fuel ADA’s growth momentum within the region as it unlocks synergistic opportunities that will form one of the pillars to deliver on Axiata’s Digital Champion ambition.”
Izzaddin added that more brands than ever in Asia are turning to data analytics and AI as a differentiator.
“With this added business and capital boost, we are better placed to develop AI models for precision targeting, to invest in content analytics, and establish data platforms to deliver insights and help businesses pivot for growth,” he continued.
Ken Miyauchi, SoftBank Corp’s representative director and chairman, commented: “Since our public listing in 2018, we have been executing our Beyond Carrier growth strategy by expanding into new business areas outside our core telecom business.
“This alliance with ADA heralds a new theme in this growth strategy as it will enable us to deploy our digital marketing business outside Japan by leveraging ADA’s presence in Asia as a leading data and AI company. We look forward to collaborating closely with the ADA team so we can help companies in the Asia-Pacific region accelerate the digital transformation of their businesses.”
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