Shrem Group Buys 10% in Route Mobile
The hospitality and investment group to pay .₹ 154 cr to Route promoters for stake
Mumbai: Founders of Route Mobile, a messaging and voice interface company, have sold 10% stake in the company to real estate and hospitality investment group Shrem Group for $23 million ( ₹ 154 crore).
“We are looking forward to collaborate closely with the investor to create a global messaging giant based out of India,” Rajdip Gupta, group CEO of Route Mobile, told ET.
Until last year, the company had planned a public listing as an exit route for staff, with employee stock option and some cash out for the founders who had bootstrapped it. In continuation, the entire proceeds from the stake sale to Shrem Group will go to the promoter group, even as a mega consolidation takes place in the rest of the telecom sector among operators and infrastructure companies alike. The company’s planned IPO was being handled by YES Bank along with Kotak Mahindra Bank. However, the latest stake sale, which puts the company in the ₹ 1,000-crore club, has not had any banker participation, the company said. Route Mobile has acquired two companies in the same space since July. It has also set its sight on a digital wallet company.
“Considering the weak global environment in select geographies, we believe it is an opportune time for Route Mobile to further expand our geographical reach through our inorganic strategy,” a company spokesman said. Route Mobile counts10 major banks among its clients as it pushes one-time passwords and alert messaging for them. The Shrem group has never been in the communications space, but is most known for auto component maker Perfect Engine Component and Nanavati Hospitals. It is a family-run group of Nitan and Hitesh Chhatwal.