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Excl: VC-backed Vriti Infocom sells telecom connections sales and comparison site Connectindia

Intel Capital and Jafco Asia-backed Vriti Infocom has sold one of its digital media properties Connectindia.in, a site that lets users compare mobile and Internet tariff plans & offers across the country besides related telecom products and services, to a little-known company Spade Financial Services.

"Connectindia was incubated as a self-managed business unit within Vriti to explore the telecom e-com opportunity. The business unit became large enough over a period of time and needed capital to expand. Of late, Connectindia Digital Pvt Ltd was spun off as a separate legal entity and bought by Spade Financial Services," Manish Sardana, founder & CEO of Connectindia told Techcircle.in.

Sardana did not share details regarding the acquisition amount but added it was an all-cash deal and said he would continue to lead the firm.

Spade Financial Services is a little-known Delhi-based investment firm, led by businessman Arun Anand. This is the firm's first investment in the IT space.

Connectindia, incubated by Vriti Infocom in 2008, currently works with Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, MTS, Idea and Vodafone. It claims to have operations in as many as 40 cities.

According to Sardana, last year's net revenue of the company amounted to more than Rs 5 crore with the gross revenue around Rs 13 crore. "We are looking at closing FY13 with net revenue of Rs 12 crore," he added.

On his plans to scale up the business with a new promoter, Sardana said the focus would remain on comparing, recommending and selling post-paid plans and it would also enter allied categories in telecom to strengthen its presence. "At the same time, we are looking at operators that we haven't tied up with till now. We will also expand to 100 cities with our own field operations," he informed.

Late last year, Vriti spun off two websites – budget hotel booking and travel community site IndiaHotelReview.com (IHR) and Connectindia.in – as it sought to strategically re-align itself as an education company. Connectindia was spun off as a separate legal entity under Connectindia Digital Pvt Ltd.

Vriti also runs various educational communities such as GoIIT.com, GoCBSE.com and PMTPrep.com. It had earlier discontinued two other websites – CollegeSearch.in and MyEducation.in.

Intel Capital and Jafco Asia have invested $7.5 million in Vriti Infocom in two rounds of funding in 2008 and 2010.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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