Radiowalla to raise $15 mn to fund acquisitions in US, Europe
The country's largest digital audio player Radiowalla is looking at raising about USD 15 million to fund its acquisitions plans in the US and Europe, which will form a part of the second leg of its international forays. Set up in August 2011, the Bengaluru-based startup was founded by Anil Srivatsa (CEO) and Harvinderjit Bhatia (Director) and is already present in the UAE, Oman, Sri Lanka and Nepal, apart from the home market of India.
"We've already identified one each profit-making companies in the US and Europe for potential acquisitions. We are pursuing the acquisition route as entering on own in these markets demands a lot of regulatory clearances. We hope to complete the deals at the earliest as these firms are ready to sell us but we need funds to the tune of USD 10-15 million for these, which is taking time," Srivatsa told PTI at Mumbai.
When asked more,he, however, did not offer a timeline for these deals saying "anything can be offered only after we have the funds, which is the only hindrance as of now".
Radiowalla, also known as corporate radio operator, is the largest player with around half the market pie in India. The nascent domestic digital audio space has only five players, including Radiowalla. The other four are Fever Audio 2 from the Hindustan Times, Bluefrog, BC Juke Box and Opus.
Before sporting the entrepreneur's hat, Srivatsa was the ex-CEO of the IPL team of Kings XI Punjab, the COO of Radio Today and the co-founder of ImaginAsian--the first Asian American cable TV network in the US, while Bhatia was the ex- CFO of NetMagic, Digicable and Radio Mirchi.
On whether the funds will be debt-driven, he said the promoters are ready to shed their stake and issue equities. Already the only PE fund, that invested USD 2 million, has exited but some HNIs still remain invested. Srivatsa and Bhatia had pumped in around Rs 1 crore into the company so far, which has since last October is in Ebidta positive.