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Vodafone partners with Vserv for app monetisation

Mumbai-based mobile advertising network Vserv.mobi has entered into a partnership with telecom operator Vodafone for monetisation of the apps offered by the telco via its app store, VStore. The partnership will enable developers targeting app distribution through the VStore to monetise their apps with the help of Vserv's app monetisation platform AppWrapper, the company said in a release.

Binay Tiwari, head of marketing, Vserv.mobi, said, "Advertising combined with micro transaction based pricing models are ideal for targeting the vast majority of prepaid mobile users in emerging markets. AppWrapper enables this in just one click."

AppWrapper platform offers developers free as well as paid app monetisation models, across both smart phones and feature phones without any coding effort. The paid models include Try & Buy which allows users free usage of the app and have to pay if they want to use it further; Pay per Play, through which users have to pay every time they want to use the app; and Subscriptions– users can opt for monthly, weekly subscriptions, depending on what the developer offers.

Vserv has applied for a patent for AppWrapper, which allows developers to connect into any billing mechanism -- be it direct telco billing from mobile operators like Vodafone or app stores like Nokia and the Android market, Google Play store.

Vserv Digital Services Pvt Ltd was founded by Dippak Khurana and Ashay Padwal in January 2010. The company had earlier raised $3 million in series A funding from IDG Ventures. Prior to that, Ajay Adiseshann, founder and managing director of the mobile payment company PayMate had also invested an undisclosed amount in Vserv. The company claims to have more than 10,000 apps listed across Android, WP7 and J2ME platforms from developers such as Glu Mobile, Digital Chocolate, Indiagames (now part of Disney), Nazara, Jump Games, among others, while 150 advertisers are advertising and around 8,000 publishers are connected to the network.

The Mumbai-headquartered company has offices in Delhi and London and it plans to open one in Singapore soon and later in the Middle East and Africa. To know more about the co, read here.

The company competes with the likes of InMobi (raised $200 million from Japan's Softbank at a rumoured $900 million valuation) and Admob (acquired by Google a few years ago for $750 million). InMobi had recently struck a deal with Cricbuzz, a leading cricket property that provides information on scores, news, match schedules and ball-to-ball commentary, for monetising mobile ads on Cricbuzz's mobile site and apps for the Indian market.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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