It has been a very busy week for the Malaysian conglomerate Axiata.
After announcing it had sold its Digital Ventures portfolio earlier this week, Axiata Group Berhad’s digital arm, Axiata Digital Services Sdn. Bhd, announced that it has received a strategic minority investment from Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui).
The investment values the digital arm at US$500 million for the core digital businesses.
Earlier this week, Axiata sold its Digital Ventures portfolio to Pegasus7 Ventures at a valuation of US$140 million. This investment is made into the core part of the Digital Services arm. Axiata also invested in two Cambodian startups (SALA and GoGames) this week.
The sale of the Ventures portfolio, and this latest investment, is a sign of consolidation. The company will now be focussed on digital payments through Boost, digital advertising via a company called ada and Apigate, which builds APIs.
With the investment, Mitsui will become a strategic shareholder and business partner at Axiata Digital’s core business verticals. Axiata Digital plans on using the funds to fuel the next phase of growth for its core businesses.
“As an expansion of our strategic partnership with Axiata, we are very excited about this investment in Axiata Digital which follows our earlier investment in Smart Axiata in Cambodia, the country’s largest mobile telecom operator. By enhancing close collaboration between Axiata Digital and Mitsui, we are confident that we can support our partners and customers to create new value and accelerate their digital transformation in various industries,” said Masahiro Moriyasu, Managing Officer, COO of the IT & Communications Business Unit at Mitsui.
Axiata Digital was established at the end of 2013 to support the digital lifestyle of Axiata consumers and from then had grown to a portfolio of 30 brands. Starting in 2017, AD began to focus on being an operator of strategic digital businesses.
“We hope to further accelerate these businesses while still being focused on distinct financial innovations for consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, marrying data and creative content for brands as well as enabling growth and monetisation for partners on our platform,” said Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO, Axiata Digital.