Microsoft has picked up about a 35 per cent equity stake in Oxygen, an India-based e-distribution company that enables services like recharges, bill payments and subscriptions for telecom operators, Internet service providers, direct-to-home broadcasters and more recently railway and airline ticket booking. Financial details were not disclosed.
“Microsoft will help Oxigen scale up its business and will strengthen the back end with its technology. This will enable Oxigen to access and offer Microsoft’s services like Web messenger and digital advertising,” Sajive Kanwar, President, Business Operations, Oxigen India. told Hindustan Times.
“The company was conceptualised almost four years back on a Mediterranean cruise between an Indian and a South African,” Pramod Saxena, Chairman & Managing Director, Oxigen India Limited. Oxigen India started as a 50:50 joint venture with South Africa’s Blue Label company, which holds a 35 per cent stake in the company.
Oxigen, serving as a neutral platform, an IT enabled distribution platform for recharges on pre-paid services like DTH broadcasting and mobile telephony. Unlike company owned distributors who have access to users of their service.
The company has about 50,000 points of contact across India with about 6,000 touch points in Delhi alone and plans to increase the pan-India number to 2,50,000 by 2010. “There are about 250 million mobile users in India today and the number is expected to grow up to 300-400 million in the next three years. Hence, there is a big opportunity for us,” Saxena told reporters.
The company earned revenues of about $ 15 million in its first year and ten times the same last year.