ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Finance

SoftBank invests $60m in Malaysian digital marketing business

Japanese company to hold 23% stake in deal with Axiata Group

SoftBank's investment is part of its growth strategy announced in 2018.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- SoftBank and Axiata Group announced on Tuesday an investment of $60 million by the Japanese company in ADA, a digital analytics, artificial intelligence and marketing company in the Malaysian telecom's conglomerate.

The investment is aimed at expanding and speeding ADA's analytics, data and AI digital marketing business in Asia, Axiata and SoftBank said in a joint statement. ADA currently serves 1,300 customers in the region.

With the investment, SoftBank will hold a 23.07% stake in ADA, which has a valuation of 1.07 billion ringgit ($260 million). Axiata Digital Services remains ADA's majority shareholder at 63.47%.

Japan's Sumitomo owns a 13.46% stake.

SoftBank Corp. Representative Director and Chairman Ken Miyauchi said the ADA investment enables his company to embark on its "Beyond Japan" business strategy.

"We will utilize ADA's know-how in data and AI, and its support structures," Miyauchi told a virtual news conference. "And by closely collaborating with ADA, I'm confident we can propose new digital marketing solutions to companies in Asia and help support their digital transformation."

The investment is also in line with SoftBank's growth strategy announced during its initial public offering in 2018, he said.

"It's a strategy that builds on our core telecom business so we can expand into new business areas," Miyauchi said. "Since then, I have expanded our portfolio of non-telecom businesses in Japan with mobile payments operator PayPay, internet advertising and e-commerce provider Yahoo Japan, and fashion e-commerce leader Zozo."

Daichi Nozaki, SoftBank vice president and head of its Enterprise Business Unit's Global Business Division, will join the ADA board in mid-May 2021.

Axiata Group President and CEO Izzaddin Idris said both Axiata and SoftBank discovered they have common ground, and that ADA could fit well with some of SoftBank's existing businesses.

ADA aims for a $2 billion valuation in the next five years across Southeast Asia.

"We have no immediate plans to spin off ADA via a public listing," Izzaddin said. "Listings are to raise capital, but ADA is already raising capital without listing."

ADA CEO Srinivas Gattamneni said the $60 million investment would be used to develop a big data platform and AI models focused on digital marketing and the automation of content creation for the advertising industry.

"The capital and business alliance with SoftBank will further propel ADA's digital, analytics and marketing solutions to benefit our customers," he said.

Miyauchi said SoftBank sees tremendous potential in digital marketing, digital communication, digital automation and security services -- with digital marketing in Asia as a promising growth area.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more