Korea’s YDM acquires majority stake in Gushcloud

Visual from Gushcloud website

South Korean digital media agency Yello Digital Marketing (YDM) has acquired a majority stake in digital marketing agency Gushcloud, following negotiations which began in 2014. While undisclosed, the deal was indicated to be worth several million dollars.

YDM is the advertising and digital marketing division of Yello Mobile group, a conglomerate of 54 companies and 33 services. While not deal size is not know, a  Tech in Asia report, quotes Gushcloud’s CEO Vincent as stating that it was ‘tens of millions’.

Terence Lee, managing editor of Tech in Asia and industry observer, commented on the acquisition and valuation: “Net profit might be a factor. The acquirer might look at the net loss or minuscule profit and dampen the valuation. Gushcloud’s future plans matter too. Is it selling itself as a traditional business with slow or steady growth, or does it have plans to rapidly scale its business with technology?

Lee added “Depending on how it wants to evolve, the acquirer might value the company based on some mix of financials and future potential. An approach towards the latter could fetch a much higher valuation.”

Being YDM’s first acquisition in Singapore, the deal will see it shift its Southeast Asia HQ to Singapore. Gushcloud CEO Vincent Ha and CMO Althea Lim will retain minority shareholding. According to official statements from Gushcloud, they will take on strategic roles within YDM and lead regional expansion plans for content/influencer marketing.

Founded in 2011 with seed funding from investment firm F&H, Gushcloud employs a team of 80 people across Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Gushcloud can expect further expansion to its numbers, as YDM expects to maintain a force of 200 employees in its Southeast Asia HQ.

The acquisition comes in the wake of a negative ad campaign conducted for Singtel in June 2014, which generated significant controversy and saw Singtel being warned by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore for corporate misbehaviour.

Reflective of an acquisition pattern that has seen it acquire multiple startups within a single year, as noted by TechCrunchYello Mobile “…targets startups that are 2–3 years old, and thus have proven market traction, but are perhaps struggling to grow. Yello’s key skill is taking these existing properties and growing them even more rapidly.”

With the growing importance of digital advertising in Southeast Asia, as well as the knockon effects that rising digital advertising has had on cybersecurity, this acquisition aligns with the acquisition of a majority share in Indonesian KLN by Mediacorp, and Singtel investments in cybersecurity and digital advertising assets.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.