SoftBank invests in Axiata’s ADA

ADA’s revenue tripled since its launch 3 years ago, recording positive Ebitda in the last 2 years


AXIATA Group Bhd’s subsidiary, Axiata Digital Advertising Sdn Bhd (ADA), has formed an alliance with SoftBank Corp, which saw the latter investing RM250 million in the former to expand and accelerate the group’s analytics, data and artificial intelligence (AI) marketing business in the region.

SoftBank will hold a 23.07% shareholding in ADA following the investment, which puts ADA’s valuation at RM1.07 billion, with Axiata Digital Services remaining ADA’s majority shareholder with a 63.47% stake.

ADA CEO Srinivas Gattamneni (picture) said the post-Covid-19 norm is a digital-first economy, which underlines ADA’s commitment.

“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,” he said in a statement yesterday.

ADA is a data analytics and AI company that designs and executes integrated digital, analytics and marketing solutions.

The group operates across nine markets in the South and South-East Asia.

Its main services include providing business insights and advanced analytics; understanding consumer mindset and designing data-driven marketing strategies; and executing end-to-end digital marketing solutions for growth hacking, funnel and goal optimisation.

Axiata president and group CEO Datuk Izzaddin Idris said ADA currently serves over 1,300 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 Corp 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,” he said.

He said more brands than before are turning to data analytics and AI to differentiate products and services in the competitive digital marketing industry in Asia.

“With this added business and capital boost, we are better placed to develop AI models for precision targeting, invest in content analytics, and establish data platforms to deliver insights and help businesses pivot for growth,” he added.

SoftBank representative director and chairman Ken Miyauchi said the group has been executing its growth strategy via expansion into new businesses outside its core telecommunications business since its public listing in 2018.

“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,” he said.

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 alliance will also allow SoftBank to expand its footprint in the region by bringing its customer data platform, treasure data and the consumer base on its communication app LINE to brands and marketers.