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IDG Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures pick up stake in leading Mobile TV player Apalya Technologies

October 14, 2009

Bangalore, October 14, 2009: Apalya Technologies, a Hyderabad based company providing India’s No.1 Mobile Video platform, announced funding of US$ 3 million from IDG Ventures India and Qualcomm Ventures. Mumbai Angels, a leading angel investment group, along with some other angel investors, are also stakeholders in the Company.

Apalya Technologies has pioneered and emerged as a leader in developing and enabling Mobile Video Delivery Platform that seamlessly streams video content to Mobile Consumers. It aggregates premium entertainment content from many different content providers, content aggregators and mobile advertisers and then delivers the same on Mobiles optimizing the content to be suitable for viewing on small-screens.

Commenting on the investment, Mr. T C Meenakshisundaram, Founder and Managing Director, IDG Ventures India said, “Apalya fits well with the fund’s criteria of a good team, disruptive technology and a large opportunity in Mobile VAS space, as Mobile TV/Video has been a “Killer-App” in other 3G markets.” The mobile VAS market has grown by around 60 per cent year on year and is estimated to touch INR 251 billion in FY 2009-10.

Commenting on the investment, Mr. Karthee Madasamy, Director at Qualcomm Ventures said, “Apalya has built a successful business around mobile data services with an innovative Mobile TV and video platform suited for the Indian market. Qualcomm is pleased to invest in Apalya to help the company as it expands its offerings to 3G wireless networks now and pursues dedicated mobile TV deployments in the future.”

Apalya plans to utilize the funds to build its presence in India, and to significantly enhance its service offering initiatives. “Through this deal, we get to leverage IDG’s media expertise with their Venture team’s vast operational experience and Qualcomm’s expertise, as the leader in Mobile Technology”, said Mr. Vamshi Reddy, Co-founder, and CEO of Apalya. He added that when Apalya was envisioned, they decided to build customized solutions for 2G network, which they eventually knew would evolve to 3G. “Today, with the Indian market opening up to 3G, we plan to introduce additional mobile entertainment services, including customized entertainment channels, premium video programming and mobile-exclusive original programming”, said Mr. Reddy.

On the reason to choose this space, Mr. Shive Bayyapunedi, Co-Founder and CTO of Apalya said, “Data Services will be a key driver for improving the overall telecom revenue and profitability and with our offerings and our service delivery platform; we are well poised to take advantage of the upcoming rollouts of the next generation wireless technologies.”

The timing of the investment is apt, as the 3G license auctions are just around the corner. This is one of the main intensification points for the rapid growth of the Mobile TV and on-demand Video business, on account of opening up of bandwidth in the country. Apalya has a team of 50 in Hyderabad, and have tied up with most of the telecom operators in the country including, Airtel, Aircel, BSNL, Idea Cellular, MTNL, Reliance, Spice, Tata Indicom, Tata DOCOMO and Vodafone. It has also launched live streaming on BSNL 3G and MTNL 3G. It has tied up with 68 television channels, which include most of the news, entertainment and regional channels. In addition to this, Apalya also powers Mobile ESPN through which subscribers can have easy access to all the programmes on the channel. Mr. T C Meenakshisundaram and Mr. Ranjith Menon will represent IDG Ventures India on the Board of Directors at Apalya and Mr. Karthee Madasamy will represent Qualcomm Ventures as a Board observer.

Consort Capital, a Mumbai-based investment bank, were the advisors for the deal.

About IDG Ventures India:

IDG Ventures India is a US$150 Million early-stage venture capital fund investing in technology-related product and services companies. The fund invests across a range of sectors including software products, offshore services, internet, mobile VAS, digital media, telecommunications, engineering, electronics, hi-tech manufacturing, healthcare and other technology-enabled sectors.

The fund is part of IDG Ventures, a global network of technology venture funds with over $3.7 billion under management, 220 investee companies and 10 offices across North America and Asia. Leading technology companies that IDG Ventures has invested early in include Netscape, Bowstreet and VA Linux in North America and Vinagames, Ctrip and Baidu in Asia.

In India, IDG Ventures has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai and has invested in Aujas Networks, ConnectM, iViZ, Kreeda Games, Manthan Systems, Myntra, Ozone Media, Perfint and 3D Solid Compression.

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About Qualcomm Ventures:

Qualcomm Ventures was launched in the United States in November 2000 with an initial US$500 million allocation. Qualcomm Ventures’ aim is to support Qualcomm’s mission of enabling and fostering 3G (WCDMA) and wireless Internet markets through strategic investments in privately owned startup ventures. These strategic investments include companies focusing on wireless communication technologies and products serving consumer, enterprise and vertical markets worldwide.

After successfully expanding its activities in Korea, Japan, China and Europe, Qualcomm Ventures set up its India presence in 2008. Qualcomm Ventures’ first direct equity investment in India is in Tessolve Services Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of solutions and platforms for semiconductor testing, packaging, qualification and failure analysis.

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About Apalya:

Apalya Technologies Pvt Ltd. is a company based in Hyderabad founded by Vamshi Reddy and Shive Bayyapunedi, India. The company was formed to take advantage of the growing demand for media and entertainment related services in the mobile space.

Apalya aggregates premium entertainment content from many different content providers, and then optimizes the content to be suitable for small screen or mobile viewing. Apalya’s Unique technology works on delivering the best possible mobile entertainment experience Based on the type of the device and the kind of network being used.

Apalya’s roadmap includes producing Mobile exclusive programming and personalized entertainment into the hands of a Mobile User. Apalya’s Mission is to bring Interactive, Collaborative, On Demand, and Informative Entertainment into the hands of mobile users in an optimized and cost effective way.

For more information, please contact:

Divya PR / Shubha Yale
Hanmer MS&L Communications Pvt. Ltd
Tel: 080 43409500
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