Bharti SoftBank (BSB), a mobile Internet joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japan’s SoftBank Corp, has tied up with Yahoo Japan Corporation to develop a mobile Internet portal focused on the Indian mobile market. The companies have formed a JV called BSY Pte Ltd for this purpose.
Madhu Nori, head of operations at BSB, will lead the venture in India. “As the Indian mobile market moves towards data-led services, rich content is an area that will offer exciting growth prospects. Through this partnership, we aim to offer exciting content and services to customers in India,” he said.
As of now, India is the world’s second largest mobile market with over 900 million subscribers. It is also touted to become the second largest mobile broadband market globally within the next four years, with an estimated 367 million mobile broadband connections by 2016, according to GSMA.
Shin Murakami, CMO of Yahoo Japan, said, “We are extremely excited about the partnership with BSB for the Indian market, where the coming years will see an explosive growth of data usage on mobile.”
BSB was launched in October 2011 to focus on mobile Internet in India. The venture is led by Atsushi Taira who is currently the CEO. Other key people include Kavin Bharti Mittal, head of strategy and new product development (he is also one of the twin sons of Bharti Mittal) and Madhu Nori, head of operations.
BSY will be BSB’s second venture, after Gurgaon-based mobile startup Y2CF Digital Media Pvt Ltd. Only last month, Y2CF had confirmed its links with BSB and it was also reported that BSB had picked 49 per cent stake in Y2CF for an estimated deal size of Rs 40 crore (which would value the startup just a shade above Rs 80 crore). Together, they had launched Hoppr – a location-based check-in service that works across all mobile devices.