Razorfish is in the process of identifying potential acquisition targets in the technology and mobility space, thereby further expanding its operations in India. One of the world's largest interactive agencies and part of the world's third-largest communications firm Publicis Groupe, the agency had in April-May last year launched India operations through the acquisition of Bangalore-based technology service provider Neev Technologies for an undisclosed sum.
Confirming the plans to dna, Vincent Digonnet, executive chairman – APAC, Razorfish Consulting (Shanghai) Co Ltd, said that acquisition of Neev was the founding block of launching Razorfish in India. "It doesn't mean that we will stop here. It means that now we are talking. We will certainly be looking at other opportunities to grow our business operations in India,".
On the possibilities of any of the discussions materialising/getting concluded in the next 12 months or so, Digonnet said, they will not be able to give out any names at this stage. "It will get crazy if we did put names. All I can say at this stage is that we are certainly looking at various options including the mobility area," he said.
Elaborating on the areas being looked at for potential acquisitions in India, Ray Velez, global chief technology officer, Razorfish, said, a lot of options exist in the technology enabled space for these interesting algorithms. "At the end of the day, a lot of success is driven from using this massive amount of data to create better experience. There are companies out there that we are talking to in India that can help us in this area and they are doing it through data science," said Velez.
Valez is of the opinion that India has a great start-up culture with several thousands of IT professionals launching their respective ventures. "We are starting to talk to these really innovative smaller companies. I think what the scale gives you here is that ability to iterate and that's what these are. These are ideas that we are not sure where they are going to go and hence we need to use the scale and talent to help iterate," he said.
As for impact on valuation expectations by companies especially after Facebook's recent jaw-dropping acquisition of Whatsapp for $19 billion, Digonnet said it certainly is getting crazy out there.
"Such deals certainly make acquisitions difficult and we are starting to see competition. Venture promoters talk about being in discussion with various strategic investors and that's absolutely startling," added Valez.
In another development, Razorfish has integrated its Fluent software with Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions. As a result, the Fluent software will become a skewed version of Adobe's cloud-based marketing software that will be offered exclusively to Publicis clients. Interestingly, while Adobe works with many digital agencies, this is the first time it has entered into a partnership in which the digital shop will develop its own marketing solution built on top of Adobe's Marketing Cloud.
According to Razorfish CEO Bob Lord, marketers will help shape Fluent functionality and suggested that different Publicis clients may receive different versions of the software customised specifically to their needs.