NeuStar Has Acquired UK-Based Mobile IM Service Provider Followap For $139 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● Nov 30, 2006

On November 28, it was announced that NeuStar has acquired UK-based mobile instant message provider Followap for $139 million in cash. This acquisition was inspired by NeuStar’s prediction that Followap’s revenues for 2007 should be $25 million and should double the year after.

In 2001, Followap raised $12 million in a second round of funding. The companies that have all invested in Followap include Sequoia Capital, Carmel Ventures, Koor Corporate Venture Capital, SVM Star Ventures Israel and Siemens Venture Capital.

NeuStar was created to face the technical challenges in the telecommunications sector ever since the U.S. government granted portability of local numbers in 1996. Today NeuStar is a global telecommunication company service provider that provides services such as network optimization and inter-network call origination and termination. NeuStar also provides services that relate to wireless data and VoIP.

Followap has over 160 million subscribers within 17 network operators and offers “Presence” services as well as instant messaging capability to these subscribers. Followap’s product line was launched in 1999 is based in the United Kingdom. “Followap furthers NeuStar’s strategy by extending and complementing our current beachhead initiatives in new growth markets such as the GSM Association root DNS service, the acquisition of UltraDNS and the development of the SIP-IX service.”

Also in the official press release of the acquisition, the GSM Association (Global System for Mobile Communications) stated that personal instant messaging communication will enhance capabilities to over 1.2 billion mobile phone users, will generate over $60 billion in revenues for telecommunication companies, and will account for over 1 trillion messages sent across mobile phones. Normally, I don’t write about the happenings of the telecommunications industry, but I felt that these numbers are staggering and this information needed to be shared.