Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cybercafe software maker raises $5 Million from Sequoia

Remember cybercafes? I bet you thought they were all dead and buried, didn't you? Well, if you live in an industrialized nation, that's mostly true (though you can still find some pretty busy ones in major cities and airports). However, if you live in a developing nation, the cybercafe might well represent your link to the Internet and the outside world. And since there are literally billions of people living in such places, there are still companies like Ideacts who are writing software to make the experience as enjoyable for the customer and as profitable for the cafe owner as possible. Thus, it's not too surprising that the Mumbai-based company was able to pick up the cash from software-savvy Sequoia Capital India, as this article notes:

Ideacts has a desktop interface application called Clinck which is targeted at cybercafe users, providing shortcuts to internet browsers, messengers, search, news, entertainment and online storage, as well as advertisements from various companies.

Ideacts has tied up with cybercafes (especially white labeled ones, and not the Sifys or Reliance WebWorlds) and the latter will be paid for installing the Clinck application on the desktops. It’s an offline way to reach out to the cybercafe users. Ideacts will make money from advertisements. Some of the companies advertising with Ideacts are ICICI Bank, Yahoo, Naukri, Radio Mirchi, Dell, MSN, White Mischief and Makemytrip.

Rudrajeet Desai said the company’s focus is white-labeled cybercafes: “We pay these cybercafes on a monthly basis, which vary according to their size. At present, we have this arrangement with 625 cybercafes, which come to more than 5,000 computers.” Desai further said that they plan expand to around 3,000-3,500 cybercafes.
Don't expect to see their kit in the US or Western Europe anytime soon, but if you have a stopover in Mumbai on your way to Bangalore and you decide to pop in and check your email, perhaps you'll come across it.

Tags: ,

No comments: