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Bertelsmann arm acquires majority stake in Networkplay

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MUMBAI: The publishing division of European media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG Gruner + Jahr has acquired a majority stake in Indian digital advertising network Networkplay.

Digital advertising agency Webchutney, incubated by Networkplay in 2008, was funded by Capital18, the venture capital arm of the Network18 group.

Gruner + Jahr India CEO Kuldip Singh will join the board at Networkplay shortly. He will also be the CFO of Networkplay.

The agency has presence on Internet, mobile and DTH platforms and partnerships with advertisers and publishers.

Since inception, Networkplay has been involved in creating effective and scalable advertising solutions across all digital platforms. Over the last three and a half years, the company has grown to reach an execution capability of over four billion impressions per month across 500 publishers and 350 advertisers.

Networkplay has also brought global event franchises such as ad:tech and iMedia Summits to India, in partnership with dmg::events, a leading international events company that manages over 80 events in over 25 countries.

Webchutney founder and CEO Sidharth Rao said, "Ram and his team have built an amazing business from an idea a few years ago. We are very proud and delighted to have believed in Networkplay‘s vision from the first day. A partnership with a leading global company, Gruner + Jahr, will propel Networkplay on a stronger, higher growth path."

Gruner + Jahr is a media group and its Electronic Media Sales (EMS) division is a leader in the digital advertising space in Europe. G+J recently acquired majority stake in MaXposure Media and this is their second strategic investment in India.

BMR Advisors was the exclusive advisor to Capital18 and Webchutney on this transaction.

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