Magz Osborne
Jan 26, 2012

Motricity exits Asia after Axiata loss

KUALA LUMPUR – Mobile marketing services company Motricity is withdrawing from Asia after losing key client Axiata earlier this month.

Motricity is withdrawing from Asia
Motricity is withdrawing from Asia

Reports say that the company’s exit from Asia will see 135 job cuts by April, across Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and India. Central to its decision is the loss of pan-regional mobile group Axiata.

One of Asia’s largest Asian telecommunication companies, Axiata Group focuses on high-growth, low-penetration emerging markets and has controlling interests in mobile operators in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Cambodia as well as significant strategic stakes in India, Singapore, and Iran. Axiata’s mobile subsidiaries and associates operate under brand names 'Celcom' in Malaysia, 'XL' in Indonesia, 'Dialog' in Sri Lanka, 'Robi' in Bangladesh, 'HELLO' in Cambodia, 'Idea' in India, 'M1' in Singapore and 'MTCE' in Iran (Esfahan).

Axiata partnered with Motricity a year ago to launch a new mobile data service by enhancing users’ mobile internet experience across all its subsidiaries. The service was enabled by Motricity’s platform, to provide a greater internet experience via mobile phones, and at the same time enhance internet functionality for mobile phone users.

The collaboration built upon the successful deployment of Motricity’s mCore platform and its end-to-end mobile-as-a-service offering at XL Axiata, in Indonesia, expanding the offering across Axiata’s other mobile brands. At press time, Axiata had not responded to Campaign’s queries.

At the time, Ryan Wuerch, Motricity chief executive officer and founder had described the Axiata partnership as “a substantial win”. Wuerch left the company in August 2011, replaced by interim chief executive Jim Smith.

Smith said the company had to make some difficult choices, including streamlining and exiting areas of its business that were no longer strategic or profitable. “I believe the strategy that we've since adopted now aligns with the strong market opportunity that exists in mobile enterprise and advertising," he said.

Motricity is also understood to be evaluating its offices in Europe as the company turns its focus to North America, where its operations are more profitable.

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