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Bharatstudent.com eyes Nasdaq listing by early 2012

Piyali Mandal  |  New Delhi 

Student and youth community focused online portal Bharatstudent.com, run by Social Media India, is set to be listed on the Nasdaq by early next year.

The online portal would be the latest Indian new media company to be listed on the Nasdaq. In August last year, online travel portal MakeMyTrip hit the markets with an $100-million initial public offering, through which it was listed on the Nasdaq.

Bharatstudent.com, however, declined to comment on the amount it intends to raise from the market. But it added that the fund would be used to expand operations, invest in strategic businesses or to start new portals.

“We are planning to unlock the value of Bharatstudent.com by listing on the Nasdaq, by early next year. We have already identified our bankers and hope to achieve this ontime,” Vishal Gurnani, director, Social Media India told Business Standard.

On plans to go for overseas listing, he said Indian bourses are not very receptive to the new media company. “You don’t get proper valuation.”

Bharatstudent.com is focused on providing solutions for any personal and professional issues of young Indians, including issues related to studies aboard, friendships and individual talent promotions. It is a portal run by Social Media, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Northgate Technologies, which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Bharatstudent.com declined to reveal its financials. However, Northgate Technologies, its parent firm, had reported net sales of '25.27 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2010, against '21.33 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2009. Shares of Northgate closed at '15.25, up by 4.81 per cent on the BSE on Monday.

The company is also planning to form a separate entity before the listing. “Bharatstudent.com will be carved out as a separate company before the listing. We have already initiated the process of restructuring,” Gurnani added.

The company has also announced its integration with Facebook to leverage the synergies between the two companies. The integration will allow people to log in to Bharatstudent with their Facebook account and enable them to access articles, videos, photos, movie reviews, informative articles and other exclusive content on the portal. Facebook users will also have the added advantage of access to all the features of Bharatstudent.

“With this integration, we look forward to assisting and reaching and doubling our user base by the year-end,” he said. Bharatstudent.com records over 7 million visitors every month.

According to the company, it was ranked by Comscore.com (ComScore Reports — 2010) as the third most-frequently visited website after Facebook and Orkut.

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First Published: Wed, March 30 2011. 00:28 IST
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