Staff Reporters
May 12, 2021

SoftBank invests $60 million in ADA

SoftBank plans to tap ADA's expertise in analytics, data, and AI digital marketing to expand the footprint of its portfolio, including messaging app Line, in Southeast Asia.

ADA CEO Srinivas Gattamneni.
ADA CEO Srinivas Gattamneni.

Digital marketing agency ADA has secured a US$60 million investment from Japan's SoftBank Group, bringing ADA’s valuation to $260 million.

SoftBank, which will own 23.07% of ADA shares once the investment has closed, plans to make ADA a core of its digital and data marketing arm.

The Japanese conglomerate wants to use ADA to build its footprint in Southeast Asia. It will do this by combining ADA's expertise with its customer data platform Treasure Data and the consumer base of its communication app Line, which it owns 50% of alongside South Korea's Naver.

Daichi Nozaki, SoftBank Corp's VP and head of the enterprise business unit's global business division, said: "We believe this alliance between SoftBank and ADA will reshape the digital marketing and data landscape in the Asia-Pacific region.

"This move is part of our Beyond Carrier growth strategy as we seek to expand beyond the traditional telecommunications business; and by combining our diversified solutions and technologies with ADA’s expertise in the area of analytics, data, and AI digital marketing, we expect we can both generate significant synergies."

ADA, meanwhile, will use the cash injection to continue its development of AI models, with a primary focus on precision targeting for the marketing industry, content analytics and automation of content creation. It also plans to create data platforms to deliver consumer insights, predict consumer mindset, and help business decisioning.

ADA CEO Srinivas Gattamneni said the capital and business alliance with SoftBank "will further propel ADA’s analytics, data, and AI digital marketing solutions for the benefit of our customers across the region."

ADA is owned by Malaysian telco Axiata and operates across nine markets in South and Southeast Asia. Founded in 2018, it specialises in AI-driven digital marketing solutions. It services around 1,300 clients.

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