Sokrati had Enough of SaaS Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency hives off SaaS-based prod­uct busi­ness to new en­tity On­lineSales.ai

Build­ing up Again

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Supraja.Srini­vasan @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agency Sokrati has hived off its SaaS-based prod­uct busi­ness into a new en­tity with in­vestors in Sokrati re­tain­ing their stake in the new busi­ness. The new SaaS-based busi­ness which be­gan pi­lots in April 2016 was launched 2 months ago as On­lineSales.ai and will fo­cus on driv­ing sales for the mid-mar­ket seg­ment, specif­i­cally for ecom­merce.

“We in­vested in build­ing a sep­a­rate tech stack al­to­gether as we wanted to go deeper into ecom­merce, es­pe­cially in the global ge­ogra­phies,” said Ashish Mehta, CEO of On­lineSales.ai. The Pune-based com­pany has been work­ing with clients in the US and UK and has also seen in­ter­est from the Mid­dle East and South East Asia.

“We are very con­fi­dent of the English mar­kets and dou­bling down on US, UK, Canada and, of course, In­dia. Then, there are some ex- Saas-based busi­ness be­gan pi­lots in April 2016 and launched 2 months ago

per­i­men­tal mar­kets which we want to try out with non-English ge­ogra­phies such as Viet­nam, Thai­land or In­done­sia. Early sig­nals from Brazil is also some­thing we are look­ing at,” Mehta told ET.

The data-driven per­for­mance­mar­ket­ing and an­a­lyt­ics agency was ac­quired by Lon­don-based Dentsu Aegis Net­work for an undis­closed amount last week. In­dus­try ex­perts pegged the deal to have val­ued Sokrati be­tween .₹ 500 and 800 crore. The ac­qui­si­tion saw Dentsu ac­quire the en­ter­prise ser­vices busi­ness of Sokrati which in­cludes ser­vic­ing large clients based out of In­dia, in­clud­ing Air­tel, eBay, ABOF amongst oth­ers. Mehta, who served as CEO of Sokrati, will con­tinue as pres­i­dent, with co­founders Anub­hav Son­thalia, San­tosh Gan­navarapu lead­ing the busi­ness for Sokrati un­der Dentsu.

The eight-year-old com­pany had raised an undis­closed amount in its series-A fund­ing from In­ven­tus Cap­i­tal in March 2011and about $3 mil­lion in its series-B round from IvyCap Ven­tures in 2015, both of whom made a par­tial exit through the Dentsu ac­qui­si­tion.

While the in­vestors did not com­ment on the re­turns they made through this exit, IvyCap is ex­pected to ac­crue re­turns at six to seven times its in­vest­ment when it ex­its the en­tire busi­ness in­clud­ing On­lineSales.ai, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple aware of the fi­nan­cials.

Apart from ge­ogra­phies, the teams also dif­fer across both busi­nesses with about 65 em­ploy­ees un­der the On­lineSales.ai brand.

Sokrati em­ploys140-150 dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als who work on in­te­grated mar­ket­ing of­fer­ings.

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