Dheeraj Aggarwal, chief executive at the Chandigarh-based Altruist, confirmed the deal, but declined to reveal the purchase price. A person with direct knowledge of the development said Altruist paid Rs 37-42 crore in cash for the Kolkata-based iConnectiva.
“Large IT services firms like Infosys, Wipro and TCS were also eyeing iConnectiva,” said a person who was privy to the talks, adding that Altruist moved very fast and completed the buy in just 30 days.
Spearheaded by former IBM employees Rajesh Sanghi and Arunesh Sharan, iConnectiva helps large telecom players such as Bharti Airtel, Etisalat and Zain Group thwart phone frauds like SIM card cloning, Ponzi schemes, fake lot tery and payment-related frauds.
It also helps its clients predict hidden insights like customer usage trends and requirement by analysing vast amount of data. It works with mobile operators across 35 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. Altruist now plans to offer the product to its 70 customers including British Telecom, Reliance and Vodafone, hav ing operations in more than 50 countries.
“Everybody can do everything, it is just the time that we don’t have. We are buying the time that they (iConnectiva) have taken to build the product,” said Altruist’s Aggarwal. “iConnectiva’s technology will help us making applications like a refrigerator ordering groceries like fruits, vegetables and milk when it is over, without human intervention.”
The 100 employees at iConnectiva will join Altruist, increasing the latter’s talent pool to 550 people. An alumnus of IIM Calcutta, Aggarwal, 40, founded Altruist nine years ago along with his younger brother Anuj Aggarwal.
iConnectiva is the sixth company that Altruist has bought, taking the total amount spent on acquisitions to about Rs 245 crore. In August, it acquired Bubble Motion, a celebrity blogging company with rights to voice blogs of over 1,000 celebrities across Asia including, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar and Salman Khan.