Japanese conglomerate SoftBank will be investing approximately RM250 million (US$60 million) in Axiata Group’s subsidiary ADA, a digital marketing agency. The former is known for its prolific investments worldwide, pouring money into startups like Grab and WeWork.
After the investment, SoftBank will hold 23.07% of ADA’s shares, valuing it at RM1.07 billion (US$260 million). Axiata Digital Services will remain as ADA’s majority shareholder at 63.47%.
According to Axiata, ADA is the largest independent digital, analytics, and marketing company in nine countries across South and Southeast Asia. Moving forward, SoftBank will establish ADA as its core digital and data marketing partner in Asia.
The Japanese firm wants to leverage its network of portfolio companies in proposing and providing digital marketing solutions that make use of ADA’s proprietary technologies and consumer AI models. Its partnership with ADA will also allow it to expand its footprint in the region by using 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 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,” said Axiata President and Group CEO Izzaddin Idris.
Relatedly, Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of Axiata, has two core business verticals – Digital Financial Services (the Boost e-wallet and Aspirasi micro-financing platform) and Digital Analytics & AI (ADA).
(Source: Axiata. Text image: SoftBank / Facebook.)