Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank Corp. has agreed on a capital tie-up with Axiata Digital Advertising Sdn. Bhd., a digital marketing subsidiary of Malaysian telecommunication conglomerate Axiata Group Bhd.
SoftBank will invest about $60 million and own a 23 percent stake in ADA under the agreement so it can optimize the Kuala Lumpur-based company's operations covering nine Asian countries.
The deal announced Tuesday will make SoftBank ADA's second largest shareholder behind Axiata Digital Services Sdn. Bhd., also a subsidiary of Axiata Group, which holds 63.5 percent. Sumitomo Corp., a Japanese trading house and a capital partner of ADA since 2018, is third with 13.5 percent.
ADA currently offers business digitalization, data analysis and marketing services to more than 1,300 corporate clients in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Korea.
With the alliance with ADA, SoftBank aims to accelerate the expansion drive of the digital-based business being provided by its corporate group, including marketing pitches related to the Line messaging app services directed at corporate customers.
The Treasure Data CDP customer data platform is among other items placed at the center of SoftBank's sales strategy via ADA.
"Since our public listing in 2018, we have been exploring ways to expand into new business areas outside our core telecom business," SoftBank Chairman Ken Miyauchi told an online press conference as he referred to the significance of the partnership with ADA.
Izzaddin Idris, Axiata's president and group CEO, said the deal with Softbank will help his entity develop AI models for precision targeting, invest in content analytics, and establish data platforms.
"Together with our existing Sumitomo partnership, we can expect this strategic alliance to further fuel ADA's growth momentum," he said. (NNA/Kyodo)
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