SoftBank investing RM250m in Axiata subsidiary

Axiata announced the formation of an alliance with SoftBank while the latter's investment will enable ADA to expand and accelerate the group’s analytics, data and AI digital marketing business in the region.

KUALA LUMPUR: SoftBank Corp will invest RM250mil (US$60mil) in Axiata Group Bhd’s subsidiary ADA (held by Axiata Digital Services) and take up a 23.07% stake.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, Axiata announced the formation of an alliance with SoftBank while its investment will enable ADA to expand and accelerate the group’s analytics, data and artificial intelligence digital marketing business in the region.

“Following the investment, SoftBank will hold 23.07% shareholding of ADA, establishing ADA’s valuation at RM1.07bil (US$260mil). Axiata Digital Services remains the majority shareholder of ADA at 63.47%, ” it said.

ADA is a data analytics and AI company that designs and executes integrated digital, analytics, and marketing solutions. Operating across nine markets in South and Southeast Asia, ADA partners with leading brands to drive their digital and data maturity, and achieve their business goals.

Axiata said ADA expects to benefit from the unlocking of significant global synergistic opportunities.

SoftBank will establish ADA as its core digital and data marketing partner in Asia. It 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.

The statement said 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.

Axiata’s president & group CEO Datuk Izzaddin Idris said: “We are delighted to welcome SoftBank as a business partner and co-shareholder 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.

“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.”

SoftBank Corp. representative director & chairman, Ken Miyauchi said this alliance with ADA will enable it to deploy its digital marketing business outside Japan by leveraging ADA’s presence in Asia as a leading data and AI company.

ADA’s CEO Srinivas Gattamneni added: “The post-Covid norm is a ‘digital-first’ economy, which ADA has been successfully building towards.

“We are very excited to partner with SoftBank as a valuable ally in our next phase of growth. The capital and business alliance with SoftBank will further propel ADA’s digital, analytics and marketing solutions to benefit our customers.”

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