The company behind the Nimbuzz messaging app agreed to sell a 70 per cent stake of its business to UK service provider New Call.
Nimbuzz has more than 200 million users, with the majority based in India. It recently moved into voice services and now processes 1 billion VoIP minutes every month in India, along with 100 billion messages.
The app, which was developed in the Netherlands in 2005, also has a presence in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
According to TechCrunch, the move is part of New Call’s strategy to invest in India, which has a huge mobile user base, expected to hit 1.145 billion by 2020.
Michael Jackson, a partner at Mangrove Capital Partners, which invested in Nimbuzz, told TechCrunch that in markets like India, 4G and online payments are not the future like they are in Europe and the US. Rather, “Android, advertising and operators are a much more important part of the ecosystem”.
There have been some significant acquisitions in the messaging app space in 2014. Facebook acquired WhatsApp earlier this month in a $22 billion deal, while Viber was acquired by Japan’s Rakuten for $900 million at the beginning of the year.