On August 22, Media.net, a leading player in the global advertising-technology sector, announced its acquisition by a Chinese Consortium from founder and CEO Divyank Turakhia’s Starbuster TMT Investments in an all-cash transaction valued around $900 million. Mumbai-raised Divyank, and his elder brother Bhavin co-founded their first company Directi in 1998, and since then they have founded and exited several tech-based startups together or in their individual capacities. Divyank Turakhia will continue as CEO of Media.net even after the acquisition.
When asked about advertising tech market in India and if he plans to enter it, Turakhia told the Indian Express, “Media.net is not in India at all. As of right now, we make zero dollars from India. The reason for that is not because India won’t be a big market. It will be a massive market in the future, but we’re not there yet as we still have a few more years to go before it gets to the size, where we would want to prioritise it”. “We don’t have a timeline. We look at it every year whether we want to be in it, and I know that for the next twelve months we are not going to be in India, and after twelve months, we’ll again take a review to see if it makes sense for us to enter India. But we want to be flexible with that, because suddenly if we see India is growing faster than our expectations, then we might want to enter it faster”, he added.
On his outlook for the advertising tech industry, he said “Ad-tech is a massive industry today, and generates somewhere between $150 billion to $200 billion a year globally, and even though it is this large and fast-growing, there is a lot of work that is left to be done in the industry. It’s very complex, and very fragmented.” “Online advertising is not easy for people to understand, because of the complexities and the number of vendors involved. I think it will get simplified, and as thing gets simplified there will be consolidation in the marketplace, or there will be many companies that will shut down because they have not been able to get to the scale that you need to,” he further added.
The two brothers complement each other — while Divyank handles operations of Media. net, it was Bhavin who negotiated hard with the Chinese in the final week. While Divyank will continue to lead the Media.net business, Bhavin already has four businesses to keep busy — calling service Ringo, enterprise chat application Flock, compensation and benefits play Zeta and registry operator Radix. “At this time we are not investing in India except for our own two startups — Ringo and Zeta. But in comparison too, it’s not a huge amount of money. Zeta has somewhere between 150-200 people working on it, and Ringo as around 50 people”.