SoftBank Corp formed an alliance with Axiata Group’s digital marketing unit, plotting to invest about MYR250 million ($60.7 million) in a 23 per cent stake as part of a strategy to boost promotional capabilities.

The operator stated the investment in Axiata Digital Advertising (ADA) will enable it to accelerate its digital marketing across Asia by accessing the company’s sales and customer support structure, data and AI business expertise.

Kuala Lumpur-based ADA offers integrated digital marketing services in nine countries in the region.

Axiata explained the deal will speed expansion of its digital and analytics business, with SoftBank Corp’s investment giving ADA an estimated value of MYR1.1 billion. Axiata Digital Services’ stake in the unit will fall to 63.5 per cent

Daichi Nozaki, head of SoftBank Enterprise Business Unit’s Global Business Division, will join the ADA board this month.

Axiata president and group CEO Izzaddin Idris said ADA’s revenue tripled since its launch three years ago and recorded positive EBITDA in the last two years. He tipped the alliance “to further fuel ADA’s growth momentum within the region”.

SoftBank Corp representative director and chairman Ken Miyauchi noted the alliance enables the company to “deploy our digital marketing business outside Japan”.