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Business Briefs: Follow the Money

Arvind Sharma
  • India

    Paris, France-based Publicis Groupe has acquired Indigo Consulting, an Indian ad agency providing Web site design, search engine optimization and online marketing. Terms were not disclosed. Indigo’s clients include Asian Paints, HDFC Bank, HSBC, Tata AIG Insurance and South Australia Tourism. The company has 160 workers at its Mumbai headquarters and its Delhi office. Indigo will operate as a unit within Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett Group in India and keep its name. Indigo founder Vikas Tandon remains managing director, reporting to Arvind Sharma, chairman, Indian subcontinent, at Leo Burnett. “Indigo Consulting, with its strong track record as a full-service interactive and technology agency, is the perfect strategic fit for our aspirations in India and around the world,” said Leo Burnett Worldwide CEO Tom Bernardin. Added Tandon, “This alignment means we will bring our world-class digital marketing capabilities to Leo Burnett’s clients, while also benefiting from additional knowledge and insight on brand and creative communication through cross-training and collaboration.”

    India Now Top Spammer

    India has passed the U.S. to become the top spamming country, sending one of every 10 junk mails, according to Web security firm Sophos. “India’s rise to the top spot comes as the number of new Internet users in the country is growing very rapidly, suggesting that computers in the country are not properly protected and that ISPs are not taking spam as seriously as they should,” Sophos said. Spam e-mails dropped overall from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012. Sophos said the reason is “partly because of better work by ISPs around the world, but also reflecting a change in tactics by cyber-criminals. Spammers are increasingly finding traditional e-mail spam ineffective, turning to social networks to spread these kinds of marketing spam campaigns instead.” The top five spamming nations are: India, 9.3%; the U.S., 8.3%; South Korea, 5.7%; and Indonesia and Russia, tied at 5%.

    Globe Equity Acquires CLEO

    Loves Park, Ill.-based CLEO, a provider of managed-file transfer solution, has been acquired by Globe Equity Partners, an investment firm focused on mid-market software firms. Terms were not disclosed. GEP managing partners Mahesh Rajasekharan and Sumit Garg will assume the posts of CEO and president, respectively, at CLEO. CLEO VLTrader, the company’s file-transfer solution, had record sales the past year, the company said. “Globe Equity Partners is acquiring CLEO because of CLEO’s strong track record, proven technology, expansive customer base and experienced team,” said Garg. Rajasekharan was previously COO at SumTotal Systems and VP and GM of the high-tech industry sector at i2. Garg was chief of staff and VP of corporate development at SumTotal.

    Wolverine Signs Tata Deal

    Rockford, Mich.-based apparel firm Wolverine Worldwide has formed a 50-50 joint venture with Tata International to sell Wolverine’s Merrell and Caterpillar footwear in India. The deal includes a tie-up with TRENT, a Tata Group firm, which operates more than 50 department stores in India. N.N. Tata, managing director, Tata International said, "We look forward to a successful partnership with Wolverine in addressing the lifestyle footwear market in India, which offers a meaningful opportunity.”

    Liazon Closes $18.2M Round

    New York-based Liazon, an operator of a private health benefits exchange, has closed $18.2 million in funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Fidelity Biosciences, with participation by existing investors Bain Capital Ventures and Rand Capital, SBIC. “The time has come for people, not companies, to choose their own benefits," said Liazon CEO and co-founder Ashok Subramanian, who was previously an associate principal at McKinsey & Co. in New York.

    BloomReach Expands in Bangalore

    BloomReach, a Mountain View, Calif.-based supplier of a cloud-based marketing platform, has opened an R&D center in Bangalore led by engineering director Vinodh Kumar, former products head at Google. “We started in Silicon Valley with a small team of amazing engineers and product executives, and some of the brightest minds in machine learning, large scale systems science and search from companies like Google, Cisco and Facebook,” said BloomReach CTO and co-founder Ashutosh Garg.

    ACM Launches Lab in Mumbai

    Rochester, N.Y.-based ACM Global Central Lab has launched a Mumbai facility to manage clinical trials testing in India. “We have been able to build a stellar local team that thoroughly understands the nuances of the market, plus the systems and process at ACM Global to maintain our high global standard for global clinical trial testing,” said ACM Global Central Lab India director Nandan Rao.

    NimbleTV Debuts TV Service

    New York-based NimbleTV, headed by CEO Anand Subramanian, has debuted a subscription-based TV platform enabling users to access TV show from anywhere on any device. The software’s tools guide customers on what to watch. The service offers TV shows from the U.S. and India, with other countries to come.

    CDPHP Fetes Albany Doctor

    CDPHP (Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan) in Albany, N.Y., has inducted three doctors into the CDPHP Physicians’ Academy Class of 2012. One is Dr. Kallanna Manjunath, chief medical officer at Whitney M. Young, Jr. Health Services in Albany. Honorees receive $1,000 each for education or training. CDPHP CEO Dr. John D. Bennett said the program honors “extraordinary individuals who serve as role models and mentors within our broad physician network.”

    MapmyIndia Debuts Product

    MapmyIndia, a New Delhi-based firm providing digital maps, navigation and location-based services, and Sunnyvale, Calif.-based navigation firm Telenav have launched a mobile application that MapmyIndia director Rohan Verma said is the first in India offering “house number search and navigation.” Telenav business development VP Hassan Wahla added, “With the growth in smartphones and 3G data connectivity, India is a fast-growing market for mobile navigation and we believe that this navigation app is a must have on every smartphone."


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