Ojas exits Mango Tech after Qualcomm buy

Early-stage venture capital investor Ojas Venture Partners has exited Mango Technologies Pvt. Ltd after US-based Qualcomm Inc. acquired the firm’s flagship product for low- to mid-end mobile phones in a multi-million-dollar deal, a top company executive said on Wednesday.

Qualcomm, the world’s largest wireless semiconductor company, has bought Mango’s handset user interface software with a PC-based customization kit that allows developers to create mobile applications, said Sunil Maheshwari, chief executive and co-founder of the Bangalore-based Mango Technologies.

“This is a huge motivation for us,” Maheshwari said, but declined to divulge more details on the deal.

Mango, founded in 2006, had started collaborating with Qualcomm towards the end of 2007 and was testing its products on the US firm’s chips.

The deal marks the first exit for Bangalore-based Ojas, which has a portfolio of six firms. Ojas had seed-funded Mango with an investment of below $1 million (Rs4.6 crore today) about two years ago. It is now exiting the firm with an internal rate of return of more than 75%, said Rajesh Srivathsa, managing partner of Ojas. In the venture capital business, this works out to returns of about three times. “For early-stage investors like us, the exit horizon is at least seven-eight years. With this deal, we are getting VC kind of returns in two years,” Srivathsa said.

“For companies that are offering complete packages to their customers, it makes a lot of sense to have applications that they can give right away,” said Diptarup Chakraborti, principal research analyst at consultancy Gartner India.

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