Bangalore: Online advertising company Komli Inc. has received first-round funding from two venture capital firms, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Helion Ventures, becoming the second Indian company in this line of business to be funded in recent months.
Komli, a six-month-old start-up, focuses on providing technology-enabled services that link advertisers with online publishers in the US and India.
The publishers on the Komli network include Yahoo, Lycos and Equity Master, as well as local listings provider Burrp.
Advertisers include financial services major HSBC, marriage portals such as Shaadi.com and BharatMatrimony.com, and travel industry sites such as Makemytrip.com and ClearTrip.com.
Says Amar Goel, chief executive and founder, Komli, “We are on track to achieving over one billion impressions for advertisements placed using Komli’s regular and premium networks in the next 12 months.”
Online advertising in India is estimated to grow annually at 43% to Rs950 crore in 2010 from the current Rs160 crore.
While Komli is an early entrant to online advertising, it is not the first to attract investment.
Erasmic Ventures, a Bangalore-based early stage venture capital fund, has funded Position 2, a marketing services company that helps businesses optimize their presence on search engines.
The 12-month-old start-up is focused on building a customer base in India and the US markets.
Rising Internet penetration, which grew at a third in India last year, and decreasing costs of personal computer ownership are what companies such as Komli and Position 2 are banking on to grow their Indian business.
Indian Internet and Mobile Association estimates that over six crore Indians will have access to the Internet by the end of 2007.
Says Subrata Mitra, partner, Erasmic Ventures: “As Internet penetration picks up, India will be a growing market for technology-enabled services. But right now, it is start-ups with a focus on multiple markets that investors are most interested in.”
Komli expects funding from the US-based DFJ and the India-focused Helion Ventures to help the start-up grow its presence in both the countries, ranked among the top four Internet markets, globally.
Says Goel, “We expect to ramp up in India and the US before we take Komli to more mature markets like Europe.”