Telenor, Schibsted and Singapore Press Holdings team up in online classifieds

On 30 September Telenor, Schibsted Media Group and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced that they are teaming up to create two joint ventures in online classifieds. The companies will provide high-quality online classified services to people in Asia and South America, Telenor said in a press release.

Telenor Group and Schibsted Media Group have established SnT Classifieds, a company which will pursue online classified opportunities in selected key markets in Asia and South America. Telenor will also join as equal partner in 701 Search (701), the current joint venture between Schibsted Media Group and SPH which operates and develops online classifieds in Southeast Asia.

While Schibsted brings extensive knowledge of and experience from the online classifieds business, Telenor contributes with significant emerging market experience and deep insight into mobile internet technology and usage. Through its strong media presence in Singapore and across Southeast Asia, SPH will continue to bring substantial value to the partnership through extensive local insight and a strong regional network.

“We believe we will succeed in bringing our popular products and proven business-models to rapidly developing economies in South America and Asia. These joint ventures formed by three knowledge- driven and industrially oriented companies give us even more financial and operational strength to pursue attractive number 1-positions. We can do more, and we can move faster. This will improve our chance to succeed,” said Schibsted CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal in the press release.

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Over the next six to seven years, close to three billion people are expected to access the Internet using their mobile phone as the primary or only interface. As more services go digital and mobile transactions gain ground, the mobile device will become ever more important for distribution. Participation in the development of the most successful Internet sites nationally, which online classified sites typically are, will help to secure presence on the devices and increased exposure to the mobile Internet growth.

“Bringing Internet to the masses is a key objective for Telenor. Online classifieds on mobile is growing fast. Being one of the largest mobile operators in the world with a strong footprint in emerging markets, it makes perfect sense for Telenor to team up with two world class companies like Schibsted and SPH to create a leading online classifieds player. The combined Asian scope of SnT Classifieds and 701 also overlaps well with Telenor’s Asian presence,” said Rolv-Erik Spilling, EVP and Head of Telenor Digital.

Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH, said: “701 Search has turned in a good performance since it started, achieving market dominance in some areas and growing rapidly in others. With the participation of another strategic investor, and the different strengths and extensive knowledge of SPH, Schibsted and Telenor, we can work towards penetrating the online classifieds market in Southeast Asia and beyond.

“Schibsted, SPH and Telenor are a perfect match. Schibsted and SPH are leading providers of one of the most popular Internet services in online classifieds, and reach around 100 million people worldwide. Telenor is one of the world’s leading mobile companies already bringing communication and Internet services to 150 million customers in Europe and Asia,” state Ryssdal, Chan and Spilling.

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