Lycos Internet Limited (formerly Ybrant Digital Limited), a Hyderabad-based digital marketing company, is scouting for acquisitions in the areas of digital video advertising and consumer-oriented Internet properties in China and the US, said its chairman and managing director Suresh Reddy. “We are open to acquisitions and are currently in talks with a couple of companies. We are looking for the right fit, and the size of the acquisition doesn't really matter. We expect to seal a deal during the next financial year,” he told Business Standard. As part of its transition from a technology player to a full-fledged Internet marketing company, Lycos has made 10 acquisitions since 2007, building a well-oiled sales engine and a strong technology backbone in the process. In 2010, the company had acquired search engine Lycos Inc for $36 million. “During the next one year, we will be in the process of moving our digital assets to our newly-floated subsidiary – Ybrant Digital Cayman Limited (YDCL) – in Cayman Islands.
Once that is done, we will have the new entity listed either in the US or the UK,” Reddy said, adding they would dilute 10 per cent of the wholly-owned Cayman entity to create a war chest for acquisitions. Lycos is also entering new Internet-based businesses. These include Lycos TV, an Internet Protocol-based TV, initially with partnerships with Reuters, CNN and digital entertainment content provider Cover Media, which is being alpha tested in the US. Its comparison shopping portal Lycos Shopping is also in the testing stage in the US. “Lycos TV is being tested in the US in Phase-I. We will be launching it in India and South America in a year from now,” he said, adding the company was developing a tool to access Lycos via the mobile, which should be launched in the next quarter. Stating that the company’s Internet advertising business has been seeing a pretty straight line growth, Reddy said the company was expecting a huge jack up from Lycos Inc and one of the new products to click to further accelerate its growth. Lycos Internet reported a net profit of Rs 220 crore on revenues of Rs 1,670 crore during the last financial year, with Internet marketing accounting for 75 per cent of this. For the half-year ended September 2014, the company reported revenues of Rs 900 crore. “We are well on track to achieve a similar growth, this year too,” he said.