Kuala Lumpur, 11 May 2021: Axiata Group Berhad’s subsidiary ADA (held by Axiata Digital Services) today announced the formation of an alliance with SoftBank Corp. (SoftBank). Under the agreement, SoftBank will invest approximately RM250 million (USD60 million) in ADA with the ambition to expand and accelerate the Group’s analytics, data and AI digital marketing business in the region. Following the investment, SoftBank will hold 23.07% shareholding of ADA, establishing ADA’s valuation at RM1.07 billion (USD260 million). Axiata Digital Services remains the majority shareholder of ADA at 63.47%.
On the strength of the alliance, ADA – the largest independent digital, analytics, and marketing company in nine countries across South and Southeast Asia – expects to benefit from the unlocking of significant global synergistic opportunities. SoftBank, a Fortune 500 telecommunications company with strong investment portfolio headquartered in Japan 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. This alliance also allows SoftBank to expand their footprint in the region by bringing its customer data platform (CDP), ‘Treasure Data’; and the consumer base of its communication app, ‘LINE’ for the benefit of brands and marketers.
Commenting on the partnership, Axiata’s President & Group Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Izzaddin Idris said: “We are delighted to welcome SoftBank as a business partner and co-shareholder to ADA. Now serving over 1300 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 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.”
“More brands than ever today in Asia are turning to data analytics and AI to differentiate their products and services in the highly competitive digital marketing industry. 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.”
SoftBank Corp. Representative Director & Chairman, Ken Miyauchi commented: “Since our public listing in 2018, we have been executing our Beyond Carrier growth strategy by expanding into new business areas outside our core telecom business. 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.”
ADA’s Chief Executive Officer, Srinivas Gattamneni added: “The post-Covid norm is a ‘digital-first’ economy, which ADA has been successfully building towards. 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.”
ADA is a data analytics and artificial intelligence company that designs and executes integrated digital, analytics, and marketing solutions. Operating across nine markets in South and Southeast Asia, ADA partners with leading brands to drive their digital and data maturity, and achieve their business goals. We are anchored on the following main services:
- Providing business insights, data enrichment, and advanced analytics
- Understanding the consumer mindset and designing data-driven creative marketing strategies
- Executing end-to-end digital marketing solutions for growth hacking, funnel optimisation, and goal optimisation
ADA complements its unique digital expertise with deep proprietary data of 375 Million consumers.
Fiona Ng, Marketing & Communications, ADA
+6019 257 8277, [email protected]
About SoftBank Corp.
Guided by the SoftBank Group’s corporate philosophy, “Information Revolution – Happiness for everyone,” SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) combines telecommunications services with cutting-edge technologies to create and operate new businesses. SoftBank Corp. serves more than 45 million mobile consumer and enterprise subscribers in Japan, and as part of its “Beyond Carrier” strategy, is redefining industries by leveraging its unique strengths as a network operator to fully harness the power of 5G, big data, AI, IoT, robotics and other key technologies. To learn more, please visit www.softbank.jp/en
Corporate Communications Division (Tokyo)
As one of the leading telecommunications groups in Asia in pursuit of its vision to be The Next Generation Digital Champion by 2024, Axiata has transformed itself from a holding entity with a portfolio of pure-play mobile assets into a Triple Core Strategy driven business focusing on Digital Telco, Digital Businesses and Infrastructure.
Within ASEAN and South Asia, the Group has controlling stakes in market-leading mobile and fixed operators in the region including ‘Celcom’ in Malaysia, ‘XL’ in Indonesia, ‘Dialog’ in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi’ in Bangladesh, ‘Smart’ in Cambodia and ‘Ncell’ in Nepal. Axiata is actively spearheading efforts to transform its mobile-centric operations into digital converged companies.
Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of Axiata is focused on two digital business verticals namely Digital Financial Services (‘Boost’, ‘Aspirasi’) and Digital Analytics & AI (‘ADA’).
‘edotco’, the Group’s infrastructure company, operates in eight countries to deliver telecommunications infrastructure services, amassing approximately 32,800 towers. Presently the 16th largest independent tower companies globally, it aims to be one of the top regional telecommunications tower companies and is committed to responsible and sustainable business operations.
As a committed and long-term investor, and in line with its sustainability goals, the Group actively supports and drives young talent development; disaster response and recovery; as well as green initiatives. Axiata’s broader goal of Advancing Asia aims to piece together the best in the region in terms of innovation, connectivity and talent.